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Old 12-08-2011, 12:05 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Newtmentum! (David Weigel & Chris Moody)

Originally Posted by hilbert90 View Post
Your example was that they at some point in the past didn't accept black people as full members. What real harm was that doing?
Hmm. I'm with you on contemporary LDS, but here I think you go too far. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are demanding that we treat all aspects of a candidate's religion as off-limits, even something like a current belief that blacks are inferior. I don't see how that's not relevant to public policy issues, to the type of person a candidate is.

Now perhaps the candidate would have explanations that make sense to you. Like the Jimmy Carter example, perhaps he can explain his relationship with the religion in question based on such things as local differences, personal actions that demonstrate that he doesn't share in the offending belief, an engagement in an intra-faith struggle over the issue, an understanding of the church as a big tent that needs members of many different views for God to work through them, and a personal rejection (demonstrated openly) to the offending teaching, so on.

But not only would membership in such a church be a political liability, but questions about what it means for the person's views are fair game.

You can't compare that to the supposed equal craziness of the Nicene Creed or some such. It has to do with a public policy issue in a quite different way.

The more comparable issues would be those relating to homosexuality and the all-male priesthood in various religions that tend to be seen as more mainstream. I don't actually think they are the same, but I can see an argument there that I don't think you can make by focusing on these other sorts of theological matters.

Sure that's not a good thing, but here is an analogy. Take someone from Soviet Russia and ask them whether the ideas of Stalin or Ghandi are crazier. Because you are an insider the outsider's (Ghandi) beliefs will look crazier. How crazy a belief looks to you has no bearing on how harmful those beliefs are in reality.
Yes, I would agree with you that craziness is not actually the issue.

But what in the world? Every belief I listed in that last post causes very real harm to people.
I don't agree with this. I think there's a difference between the mechanism by which the views interrelate to public policy vs. something like a teaching that certain groups of people are inferior that you are ignoring, also. (I feel like I should flesh this out, but it can wait for a later post.)

Yet due to your insider position you are defending those beliefs as less crazy than a belief that didn't really cause harm.
Why do you assume apple is an "insider"?

Telling people not to use condoms causes the spread of STI's.
Okay, maybe I can flesh the point out here.

No, the argument would be slightly different. First, one could claim that there's a public policy negative if the Church (and other allies on this issue) act so as to make condoms unavailable (or less available) for those who don't follow (or likely buy into Catholic teachings). I think this is a fair argument, but there's a distinction between something being Catholic and agreeing with all political efforts in these kinds of areas. It's not really a matter of doctrine.

Second, one could claim that buying into Catholic teachings makes one more likely to behave in an unhealthy manner, as it's too hard to actually follow the teachings (which I don't believe) so one won't, but will be too guilty to use condoms as one should. Psychologically, there may be some truth to this one for some people, but I don't think it's a very strong basis to claim that the Catholic belief itself -- for Catholics -- must be fought by non-Catholics. It doesn't make the internal Catholic view on artificial contraceptives, however dumb you think it is, analogous to an internal view that black people are inferior to white people.
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