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Old 10-28-2009, 05:27 PM   #1
Achilles
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Fla. man says Home Depot fired him over God button

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A former cashier for The Home Depot who has been wearing a "One nation under God" button on his work apron for more than a year has been fired, he says because of the religious reference. The company claims that expressing such personal beliefs is simply not allowed.

"I've worn it for well over a year and I support my country and God," Trevor Keezor said Tuesday. "I was just doing what I think every American should do, just love my country."

The American flag button Keezer wore in the Florida store since March 2008 says "One nation under God, indivisible."

Earlier this month, he began bringing a Bible to read during his lunch break at the store in the rural town of Okeechobee, about 140 miles north of Miami. That's when he says The Home Depot management told him he would have to remove the button.

Keezer refused, and he was fired on Oct. 23, he said.
Quote:
"This associate chose to wear a button that expressed his religious beliefs. The issue is not whether or not we agree with the message on the button," Craig Fishel said. "That's not our place to say, which is exactly why we have a blanket policy, which is long-standing and well-communicated to our associates, that only company-provided pins and badges can be worn on our aprons."
Quote:
Michael Masinter, a civil rights and employment law professor at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, said any lawsuit over religious discrimination might be a tough one to win.

"Because it's a private business, not one that's owned and operated by the government, it doesn't have to operate under the free speech provisions of the First Amendment," Masinter said.
It seems to me that if Mr. Keezer wanted to either support his country or support his brother in Iraq, he simply could have accepted the company-approved "United We Stand" button that was proffered as a replacement.

I'm not entirely sure I take Keezer's rationale for the lawsuit at face value.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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Private company, blanket rules, don't really see the problem here.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mur'phon View Post
Private company, blanket rules, don't really see the problem here.
I agree. Not much to see here. Keezer probably feels they're doing it because of his religion due to the proliferation of persecution complexes as of late, but that doesn't make it so.


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Old 10-28-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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Not entirely sure that I do either.

I don't know if the frequency is increasing or if I've simply become more aware of them (or if the media is pushing these more, etc), but it seems as though there is an increase in religious discrimination lawsuits over the past few years. Many of them appear as baseless as this one. Makes me wonder if some group is out there encouraging these (similar to how the Discovery Institute "sponsors" intelligent design in the classroom), or if something else is at work here.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
I don't know if the frequency is increasing or if I've simply become more aware of them (or if the media is pushing these more, etc), but it seems as though there is an increase in religious discrimination lawsuits over the past few years.
I’m more of the opinion that stupidity is contagious.

Totally baseless lawsuit. There is a valid reason for Home Depot or anyone else to have such a policy. What an employee wears while publically representing a employer is a valid concern for ownership. So in my opinion Home Depot made the correct decision since he refused to comply with company rules.


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Old 10-29-2009, 01:33 AM   #6
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I fully understand Home Depot's view on this. I mean if they let him wear that pin, and someone else wants to wear a politically charged pin, and it becomes a pin battle. It affects sales, moralle, and possibly even public opinion of the store. Plus the store had an existing policy covering it. He was given an opportunity to swap it out for a company provided pin.

He got himself fired.

as for there being more of these "religious persecution" lawsuits. its no more so than the many other frivolous suits. These religious ones are getting air time. The hundred or so "I got kicked out of a store because of a T-Shirt" suits aren't rare enough to make news.


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Old 10-29-2009, 01:48 AM   #7
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Home Depot probably thought they didn't want their employees wearing religious pins because they might offend atheists or those of a different religion, the same as they probably wouldn't want one of their employees wearing an atheist pin because it might offend religious customers.

Some might lay claim to the issue of freedom of speech. I have two thoughts on this. The first is we do not allow the likes of Playboy in our school system, so why should we allow Home Depot's employees to feed the religion issue, regardless of his beliefs? The second is freedom of speech is only as good as how far you are willing to allow it. Do you exercise freedom of speech for yourself and not others? If so then you're the last to bring up the issue.

Even if you think everyone from pedophiles to terrorists to Sith is entitled to have their say it should be considered not only whether they should but in which context they should be allowed. A Darth Lord could say what he wants on Korriban, and while he or she may believe to be entitled to do as they please trying to force Sith philosophy on, say, Coroscant is not going to end well.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockhead View Post
Home Depot probably thought they didn't want their employees wearing religious pins because they might offend atheists or those of a different religion, the same as they probably wouldn't want one of their employees wearing an atheist pin because it might offend religious customers.

Some might lay claim to the issue of freedom of speech. I have two thoughts on this. The first is we do not allow the likes of Playboy in our school system, so why should we allow Home Depot's employees to feed the religion issue, regardless of his beliefs? The second is freedom of speech is only as good as how far you are willing to allow it. Do you exercise freedom of speech for yourself and not others? If so then you're the last to bring up the issue.

Even if you think everyone from pedophiles to terrorists to Sith is entitled to have their say it should be considered not only whether they should but in which context they should be allowed. A Darth Lord could say what he wants on Korriban, and while he or she may believe to be entitled to do as they please trying to force Sith philosophy on, say, Coroscant is not going to end well.
I'd have to disagree on the "where" aspect of freedom of speech. Should we only allow gay and lesbian marches in San Francisco? No, every person in the US is entitled to free speech. Just because I may disagree with what someone says, does not mean that they shouldn't be allowed to speak. Schools are protected because it could be disruptive to a class. Peacably assembling is protected so long as it does not cause harm.


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Old 10-29-2009, 04:20 AM   #9
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Yeah, that's what I was trying to say The religious should be free to say what they want in their church. They should even be allowed to have a public voice and forum. To invade a Richard Dawkins book signing for example, or speak of the evils of homosexuality at the funeral of someone who died of aids, that would be beyond the pale. In those instances they would do harm. That's what I was trying to get at in discussing context.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockhead View Post
Yeah, that's what I was trying to say The religious should be free to say what they want in their church. They should even be allowed to have a public voice and forum. To invade a Richard Dawkins book signing for example, or speak of the evils of homosexuality at the funeral of someone who died of aids, that would be beyond the pale. In those instances they would do harm. That's what I was trying to get at in discussing context.
Careful there. Code Pink has done very similar things as protest. It may be low class, but its still free speech.


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Old 10-29-2009, 05:45 PM   #11
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Yeah, I was thinking what they do. Even if it is considered freedom of speech that is exactly what I'm talking about in terms of context. You look at the justified outrage they generate. Home Depot would certainly want to avoid similar controversy, so they would not want something like a god or anti god button that might become an issue. Even something such as a Rememberence Day or Amnesty pin might be pushing it...sad but true. A place such as Home Depot would want none of the criticism that what their employees might wear could generate.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockhead View Post
Yeah, I was thinking what they do. Even if it is considered freedom of speech that is exactly what I'm talking about in terms of context. You look at the justified outrage they generate. Home Depot would certainly want to avoid similar controversy, so they would not want something like a god or anti god button that might become an issue. Even something such as a Rememberence Day or Amnesty pin might be pushing it...sad but true. A place such as Home Depot would want none of the criticism that what their employees might wear could generate.
On the main issue I think we can agree. Home depot is protecting themselves with disallowing pins. Even something as simple as a "Union" pin could have a negative impact on sales. Heck even a "No smoking" pin could cause problems. It is a private business with recognizable attire and dress code. The business owners have the right to dictate what they allow on their uniform, as the person wearing that uniform is a representative of their business.


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:39 PM   #13
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I can understand it for the employees, but if it spreads to the customers, that's when it's time to boycott.

As for the story, if he wore it for over a year and they never said anything to him, well that just makes it stupid. But, if they want to make those rules for their employees while on duty, that's their business. What employees read on their breaks should be none of the store's business (though I guess if he was reading porn in the lounge or something or reading his bible out loud where everyone can hear it, that might be construed as harassment or advertising).


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Old 12-10-2009, 11:26 PM   #14
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There are people who are not religious that believe in God, and I'd say God is not necessarily a religious concept. However, to ones who can't or won't discern that difference, they won't have it. Even if they did, they would still call it superstitious and say it is little difference on a venn diagram for they don't want superstition.

However, I can't really find any other grounds to argue on.
I guess the guy was asking to get fired. It's a privately owned business. I agree with Tommy, they're probably covering their hides.

If he had a problem with it, why not find another hardware store that allowed it and in the meantime resign from Home Depot to work there where it was more tolerated? He had plenty of time.


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Old 12-13-2009, 01:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
There are people who are not religious that believe in God,
Could someone please translate this for me?

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Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
and I'd say God is not necessarily a religious concept.
And this?

Perhaps it would be helpful if you could tell us what you think "religious" means.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
There are people who are not religious that believe in God,
Could someone please translate this for me?
Doesn't follow any one faith necessarily to the letter, but still believes in a concept of some higher essence (God). "Spiritual but not religious" as it might be called. That's what I was thinking of, anyways. Not sure if it came across that way. These are people who believe in a concept of a higher being (God) without necessarily going with everybody else of that faith (assembly and interpretation).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
and I'd say God is not necessarily a religious concept
And this?
Perhaps it would be helpful if you could tell us what you think "religious" means.
"Religious": of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances <joined a religious order>
These ones attending service/assembly and taking it literally.

Both groups believe in God, one religious, the other not. Both of which would still fall under, say, a scientist's view as of superstition either way--Unless I'm mistaken?

I guess so far as you'd be concerned I merely pointed out a difference in people and their perceptions (those believing in God).
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:35 AM   #17
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Not religious means they do not follow any faith. One CAN believe in a higher power, but not be religious. Though technically that puts them in with the Agnostics.

I believe he's referring to one of the dictionary definitions, namely:
2 : of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances <joined a religious order>

where you are taking the term religious to mean
1 : relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity <a religious person> <religious attitudes>

Of course one could say YOU Achilles are religious as well
3 a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful b : fervent, zealous


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Old 12-13-2009, 08:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Not religious means they do not follow any faith. One CAN believe in a higher power, but not be religious.
Then they have faith that there is an higher power.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Quote:
Not religious means they do not follow any faith. One CAN believe in a higher power, but not be religious.
Then they have faith that there is an higher power.
I guess I'm not seeing anything in the quote that actually addresses what I asked.

The comments were, "There are people who are not religious that believe in God (capital "G" God)", and "I'd say God (again, capital "G" God) is not necessarily a religious concept"

I understand the whole "spiritual but not religious" thing, but that isn't what's being invoked here. GTA is talking about something very specific and appears to be doing so using a definition of "religious" that is of his very own creation.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommycat View Post
Of course one could say YOU Achilles are religious as well
3 a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful b : fervent, zealous
Yeah, by 3b, Achilles is religiously anti-religious.


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Old 12-14-2009, 07:09 AM   #21
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What GTA means is that there are some individuals who do not follow any specific denomination, organized religion or believe in the concept of religion itself - yet they believe in the existence of a all powerful creater, a supernal presence, a higher divine consciousness from there own point of view. In which, they do not believe their conscious entity "God" to have any connection to most of the world's religions unlike other people who believe the opposite.

Anyway, hope that helps.


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Old 12-14-2009, 03:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
What GTA means is that there are some individuals who do not follow any specific denomination, organized religion or believe in the concept of religion itself -
Okay, but this...

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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
yet they believe in the existence of a all powerful creater, a supernal presence, a higher divine consciousness from there own point of view.
...is the definition of religious. Hence the confusion.

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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
In which, they do not believe their conscious entity "God" to have any connection to most of the world's religions unlike other people who believe the opposite.
This sounds like deism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
Doesn't follow any one faith necessarily to the letter, but still believes in a concept of some higher essence (God). "Spiritual but not religious" as it might be called. That's what I was thinking of, anyways. Not sure if it came across that way. These are people who believe in a concept of a higher being (God) without necessarily going with everybody else of that faith (assembly and interpretation).
Inventing your own religion is still religion.

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Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
"Religious": of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances <joined a religious order>
These ones attending service/assembly and taking it literally.
I don't see how this particular definition has any relevance to your earlier argument. Could you please clarify?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
"Both groups believe in God, one religious, the other not.
Back to square one while contradicting the first part of your post. If you're saying someone is spiritual but not religious, you can't say that they also have a specific concept of god at the same time. That's simply inventing your own religion (it doesn't matter whether that "religion" has a million followers or just one; it's a theology).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
Both of which would still fall under, say, a scientist's view as of superstition either way--Unless I'm mistaken?
Well, a scientist or anyone familiar with a dictionary. I guess I'm still trying to follow the train of thought of your original argument, which is rather difficult with all these competeing concepts of "religious" floating around, competeing with one another.

You're saying that there is some obvious dicotomy that people either get or they don't, but when pressed, it seems obvious that we have to admit that both sides are the same in more ways then they are different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
I guess so far as you'd be concerned I merely pointed out a difference in people and their perceptions (those believing in God).
I'm not convinced that you did, however I'm still very interested in understanding the argument.

Last edited by Achilles; 12-14-2009 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post

Inventing your own religion is still religion.

I don't see how this particular definition has any relevance to your earlier argument. Could you please clarify?

Back to square one while contradicting the first part of your post. If you're saying someone is spiritual but not religious, you can't say that they also have a specific concept of god at the same time. That's simply inventing your own religion (it doesn't matter whether that "religion" has a million followers or just one; it's a theology).

Well, a scientist or anyone familiar with a dictionary. I guess I'm still trying to follow the train of thought of your original argument, which is rather difficult with all these competeing concepts of "religious" floating around, competeing with one another.

You're saying that there is some obvious dicotomy that people either get or they don't, but when pressed, it seems obvious that we have to admit that both sides are the same in more ways then they are different.
Just basically you could arguably call nondenominational under the religion bracket which is fine. It doesn't necessarily cover those who do not belong to religions (christianity, judasim, islam, etc.) who simply believes there is some kind of higher power, if vaguely/generalized. A pin saying 'in god we trust' could arguably represent them; Or it may not necessarily either. But if that's belief invention to you then I guess there's no real argument here.

I'm saying the difference is:

God>Religion versus Religion>God.

As if it really matters to anyeone who has fit both under 'superstition' anyway, as I've seen in your other posts elsewhere. So my pointing out this apparently minor difference is going nowhere...

Quote:
I'm not convinced that you did, however I'm still very interested in understanding the argument.
Argument? I thought
Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
There are people who are not religious that believe in God, and I'd say God is not necessarily a religious concept.
was qualified as only an opinion statement as I conceded the thread before you even asked me anything.
As it is ambivalently worded, though. Sorry for tany confusion.

IIRC:
Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
However, I can't really find any other grounds to argue on.
I guess the guy was asking to get fired. It's a privately owned business. I agree with Tommy, they're probably covering their hides.

If he had a problem with it, why not find another hardware store that allowed it and in the meantime resign from Home Depot to work there where it was more tolerated? He had plenty of time.
I was under the impression you were merely asking me to clarify my opinion. You're not convinced and that's ok. We just agree to disagree. I see a difference, and you don't. Not really a problem.

Last edited by Darth Avlectus; 12-15-2009 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
Just basically you could arguably call nondenominational under the religion bracket which is fine.
Let's go back and look at the original quote again:

"There are people who are not religious that believe in God, and I'd say God is not necessarily a religious concept."

If we're going to call this "nondenominational" and then state that "nondenominational" is a subset of religion, then we're still stuck in the same place where I don't understand how one is both religious and not religious at the same time.

Either you believe in god or you do not. People who do not can still believe that there's something "higher" than themselves without that "thing" necessarily being "god".


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
As if it really matters to anyeone who has fit both under 'superstition' anyway, as I've seen in your other posts elsewhere. So my pointing out this apparently minor difference is going nowhere...
I'm not seeing any difference; I'm seeing a contradiction. I can't understand the point you're trying to make while one part of your argument contradicts another part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
Argument? I thought <snip> was qualified as only an opinion statement as I conceded the thread before you even asked me anything.
Argument: a coherent series of statements leading from a premise to a conclusion.

Premises can be based on opinions or facts, but good arguments have to be logically consistent (i.e. conclusions cannot contradicts premises, premises cannot contradict each other, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
I was under the impression you were merely asking me to clarify my opinion. You're not convinced and that's ok. We just agree to disagree.
I don't accept or reject anything until I first understand it. I'm simply asking for your help in trying to get to that point.

The arguement (as it is presented) is contradictory. If you're telling me that you're ok with that or that you cannot clarify it any further, then I have to leave it on the burner until such time as it the apparent contradiction is resolved. In the mean time, I cannot accept it and no one else should either.


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Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
I see a difference, and you don't. Not really a problem.
Indeed. Thanks for your time.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Either you believe in god or you do not. People who do not can still believe that there's something "higher" than themselves without that "thing" necessarily being "god".
So, your problem was the name he gave to what he believes as something higher than himself?
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:22 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
My problem is that this...


Quote:
GTA's Quote:
There are people who are not religious that believe in God, and I'd say God is not necessarily a religious concept.
...is a contradiction (at least so far as any standard definition for the word "religious" goes). Either GTA has invented his/her own definition for the word "religious" (which I've simply asked him/her to define for us so that we can make sense of the argument) or he/she is, in fact, putting forth a contradiction


Hmmm, well let's take a little looksie in "Oxford's Dictionary and Thesaurus" and see how it defines it........


religious 1. devoted to religion; pious; devout. 2. of or concerned with religion. 3. of or belonging to a monastic order. 4. scrupulous; conscientious ( a religious attention to detail). 5. a person bound by monastic vows. religiously or religiousness

(other words): churchgoing, God-fearing, holy, exact, precise, conscientious, rigorous, strict, fastidious, meticulous, faithful, punctilious.




^^^^^^
Well seems to me like a whole different meaning than what your talking about Achilles. And if I understand this correctly, the definition itself leans more towards the worship and paying homage to the entity or god, etc..... totally different from just acknowledging any god's existence.

Anyway, I just can't see any contradiction in GTA's statement like your saying. Because he's just talking about believing, and only believing, in a supernal entity and not worshiping it or going to church in a faithful religious fashion like most people.


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Old 12-17-2009, 04:09 PM   #27
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Hmmm, well let's take a little looksie in "Oxford's Dictionary and Thesaurus" and see how it defines it........
Indeed, lets.

Quote:
religious 1. devoted to religion; pious; devout. 2. of or concerned with religion. 3. of or belonging to a monastic order. 4. scrupulous; conscientious ( a religious attention to detail). 5. a person bound by monastic vows. religiously or religiousness
Now let's take a look at which of these are most likely applicable to the conversation:

Quote:
religious 1. devoted to religion; pious; devout. 2. of or concerned with religion.
What commonality do we see here? Both definitions are based on another word: religion. So let's look that up too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
The contradiction is that GTA argues that you can have a belief in god and not be religious. Per your own source, to be religious is to have religion and religion is explicitly the worship of god or the supernatural. None of the other definitions seem applicable to the argument (since the argument was, specifically, belief in god without religion rather than religion without belief in god).


Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
(other words): churchgoing, God-fearing, holy, exact, precise, conscientious, rigorous, strict, fastidious, meticulous, faithful, punctilious.
Indeed. Per your own analysis of the term you have determined that god and religion are intertwined (so far as the abrahamic monotheisms are concerned). So what was your point again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Well seems to me like a whole different meaning than what your talking about Achilles.
I guess the trick is to be able to determine which ones are applicable and which ones are not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
And if I understand this correctly, the definition itself leans more towards the worship and paying homage to the entity or god, etc..... totally different from just acknowledging any god's existence.
And I would not say that there is a significant difference in believing in a god and worshipping one, so far as defining "religion" goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Anyway, I just can't see any contradiction in GTA's statement like your saying. Because he's just talking about believing, and only believing, in a supernal entity and not worshiping it or going to church in a faithful religious fashion like most people.
I hope my post has helped.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:06 PM   #28
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You can believe in a god or gods, but not worship them. Devil worshipers believe in God but obviously do not worship Him. Some religions themselves do not have a god. One can be religious and not believe in God.

Perhaps you are just confused in that one can hold a belief but not be religious about it.

GTA was implying that a person can be religious without following any specific religion, which by his standards qualifies as being non-religious as they do not follow any established doctrine.

You don't choose what definition someone else is using. They choose it. Especially when clarifying on a specific contradiction such as this. Perhaps he could have said, "One can believe in God without adhering to any established religion," to make it clear to you what he meant.


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Last edited by Tommycat; 12-17-2009 at 06:36 PM.
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