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Is it okay to make laws against sin?
Posted 5/20/14 , edited 5/20/14
First let me respond in the secular sense.

I don't believe you can legislate morality. Its a good idea in theory but incredibly difficult and dangerous in practice. I personaly think that in the public sphere, you simply have to mitigate the damage rather than prevent it. You simply can't use the law to make better people because people themselves make the law.

Now let me respond in an peculiar "religious / democratic sense."

I actually think that people should be able to legislate against sin - but not on a federal level. This democratic republic of ours (here in the US) seems to have been based on the notion that different regions would have different laws. This harkens back to the fierce independence the States used to assert. Its not as strong now, but its still there. I personally believe that different states (or different districts within states) should be able to gather like-minded individuals and impose regional laws against sins as a community. Obviously, the federal government can regulate the most important stuff within states and districts (laws outlined in the Constitution and amendments or state constitutions and amendments), but if its not mentioned in those documents, I believe regional communities should be able to legislate pretty much whatever they want - including laws against sin. If one doesn't like these laws, they could always garner support from like minded individuals in that community to change the laws or amend the state / national constitution. Or they could move as well. But, admittedly, this way of thinking may be a tad idealistic.
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Posted 5/21/14 , edited 5/21/14
it would invade on personal freedoms. if you want to smoke pot or hire a prostitute, then you should be able to, because it's your life, and you should live how you want. in a democratic society, we have the right to sin. that's what freedom means. we can do what we want as long as we're not hurting anybody.
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Posted 5/21/14
No killing, no stealing, no raping. All the other morality problems? They don't stop society from working, so they shouldn't be illegal.
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Posted 5/21/14

seekerperson7 wrote:

First let me respond in the secular sense.

I don't believe you can legislate morality. Its a good idea in theory but incredibly difficult and dangerous in practice. I personaly think that in the public sphere, you simply have to mitigate the damage rather than prevent it. You simply can't use the law to make better people because people themselves make the law.

Now let me respond in an peculiar "religious / democratic sense."

I actually think that people should be able to legislate against sin - but not on a federal level. This democratic republic of ours (here in the US) seems to have been based on the notion that different regions would have different laws. This harkens back to the fierce independence the States used to assert. Its not as strong now, but its still there. I personally believe that different states (or different districts within states) should be able to gather like-minded individuals and impose regional laws against sins as a community. Obviously, the federal government can regulate the most important stuff within states and districts (laws outlined in the Constitution and amendments or state constitutions and amendments), but if its not mentioned in those documents, I believe regional communities should be able to legislate pretty much whatever they want - including laws against sin. If one doesn't like these laws, they could always garner support from like minded individuals in that community to change the laws or amend the state / national constitution. Or they could move as well. But, admittedly, this way of thinking may be a tad idealistic.


So it would be okay for local communities or states to outlaw homosexuality, intermarriage between blacks and whites, banishment of atheist, and the prohibition of competing religions? How about the censorship of books and records and now videos? The requirement of the sexes to wear clothing that is deemed appropriate for each sex, the denial of education opportunities because of race, religion or sex or sexual preference. And let's not forget the establishment of the punishment for the breaking of these laws, be it fines, jail time, banishment, or even death. There is a reason why many of the Western countries are moving away from legislating sins.
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Posted 5/21/14

vash_loveandpeace wrote:

As a Christian, I ask myself this a lot. I don't like politics at all (mostly politicians) For example I believe homosexuality is a sin (I'll define it as breaking God's law) but I don't know how people argue that homosexual marriage is against the constitution. While I don't agree with it, I can't say it should be illegal because I believe it's wrong. Can I infringe the rights of someone when I think something is wrong when I can't argue against the idea using the grand law of the country, that law being the constitution. Back to my point, it's hard me to decide but if we're talking lawfully, I can't say that homosexual marriage is against the constitution. I will state again I don't think homosexuality is right. I'm not looking to argue with what I believe but I'm just stating what I think about law. I just take issue when people say I can't say what I believe because of what most people believe. So I just ask that if gay marriage is made legal just don't tell me I have to go against what I believe because it's made legal. What I mean by that is if I'm a pastor (I'm not) don't threaten to sew me because I'm not going to against what I believe to make you happy. I'm not a homophobic, I love gay people and would become friends with anyone who is gay. I just want my rights to believe what I believe to be protected.

I hope I made sense, I'm very bad with putting my thought together like this.


I completely agree and this is how I feel. I do think homosexuality is a sin but I don't go around saying how others can't get married because of what I believe. Even in most cases I don't understand why people have a wedding because the actual ceremony is a religious based one (I know the concept of marriage isn't but the ceremony is... right? I could be wrong) and why would people want to spend their money on something that they don't believe in. You don't see Roman Catholics performing Hindu traditional weddings do you? Like to me it doesn't make sense because our society has made the gown and the rings and everything about a wedding a norm and that's what you're supposed to do at a wedding when reality marriage is just signing a paper saying you are together legally.

I could be wrong about my thought so correct me if I am.
Posted 5/21/14 , edited 5/21/14

Bearhand73 wrote:

So it would be okay for local communities or states to outlaw homosexuality, intermarriage between blacks and whites, banishment of atheist, and the prohibition of competing religions? How about the censorship of books and records and now videos? The requirement of the sexes to wear clothing that is deemed appropriate for each sex, the denial of education opportunities because of race, religion or sex or sexual preference. And let's not forget the establishment of the punishment for the breaking of these laws, be it fines, jail time, banishment, or even death. There is a reason why many of the Western countries are moving away from legislating sins.


By no means! Discrimination against interracial marriage is handled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Federal law - applies to all states). Banishment of atheists / promotion of certain religions is dealt with in Amendment 1 of the Constitution. As is freedom of speech and the press - preventing censorship of books and records in the manner you are likely referring to. Homosexuality is still up in the air, but I wouldn't be surprised if a federal law or an Amendment is passed very soon to change that. Requirements for clothing are already upheld by state constitutions I think (fairly certain women can't go around topless / men bottomless due to public indecency).

Those things aren't sins in the religious sense, secular sense, or sense in which the OP was speaking. They're not sins in any sense. The OP was speaking more to "vices" anyway - probably things like alcohol / tobacco purchases, gambling, specific weight of crimes (for example, how much a traffic ticket costs as opposed to vandalism), etc.

You seem to have gone with a rather wild extrapolation of what I had said.

EDIT - I also forgot to mention the 8th Amendment with regard to your concern about excessive fines and "banishment" as well as other forms of cruel and unusual punishment. I think you may have simply misconstrued my claim that local communities should have more control over legislature as a claim that they should have absolute control over legislature. This particular fear was, i thought, addressed by my statement appending that the federal government and state / national constitutions would legislate the "most important stuff." But, admittedly, the "most important stuff" was rather vague on my part, and for that misunderstanding, I apologize.
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Posted 5/21/14

NFTS wrote:

it would invade on personal freedoms. if you want to smoke pot or hire a prostitute, then you should be able to, because it's your life, and you should live how you want. in a democratic society, we have the right to sin. that's what freedom means. we can do what we want as long as we're not hurting anybody.


I would disagree. That's not what freedom is. Such would actually limit ourselves. In a world with pure freedom, there is none. Though maybe that's too philosophical for what the question is...
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Posted 5/21/14


Some people have ill-wills, I just think it's childish. For example if you are a gay couple and seek marriage, why does a church who does not approve of your lifestyle have to be forced to hold your marriage because of threats to sue them. I

kind of understand why people want to have weddings, it can mean different things to many people (e.x. showing everyone you are coming into union with someone) but for myself I want it because I would want to tell everyone why I love my new wife, and why she is the best. Yes I do agree though there is a crazy get-up with the "marriage image": ring, wedding, and party. If I love you and you love me do I need a ring to ask you to marry me? I don't have loads of money to afford a ring but I think love is more then a ring, Yet I do think marriage is more then signing a paper it's a man and wife becoming one.

I think most of what you said was right apart from the marriage being a just signing a paper.
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Posted 5/21/14
Let me just way in here. 1. You cannot use any biblical book for morals or laws. These should be taught through life experience not a book that mentions boiling a baby goat in its mothers milk (thats a lot of f**king milk for one goat to make on its own if i may say so myself). 2. Politics is stupid (politicians), all they do is argue for the cameras, it's just a complete waste of time. 3. Some good morals: If what you're about to do infringes on someones mental, emotional, or physical state (including your own) just don't do it. Think before you act. Putting thoughts into actions is neither to be taken lightly, nor to be similar in any way shape or form. Also on a side note I'm an atheist, also were killing the planet and not doing anything significant to stop its destruction. Yay humanity....
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Posted 5/21/14

seekerperson7 wrote:


Bearhand73 wrote:

So it would be okay for local communities or states to outlaw homosexuality, intermarriage between blacks and whites, banishment of atheist, and the prohibition of competing religions? How about the censorship of books and records and now videos? The requirement of the sexes to wear clothing that is deemed appropriate for each sex, the denial of education opportunities because of race, religion or sex or sexual preference. And let's not forget the establishment of the punishment for the breaking of these laws, be it fines, jail time, banishment, or even death. There is a reason why many of the Western countries are moving away from legislating sins.


By no means! Discrimination against interracial marriage is handled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Federal law - applies to all states). Banishment of atheists / promotion of certain religions is dealt with in Amendment 1 of the Constitution. As is freedom of speech and the press - preventing censorship of books and records in the manner you are likely referring to. Homosexuality is still up in the air, but I wouldn't be surprised if a federal law or an Amendment is passed very soon to change that. Requirements for clothing are already upheld by state constitutions I think (fairly certain women can't go around topless / men bottomless due to public indecency).

Those things aren't sins in the religious sense, secular sense, or sense in which the OP was speaking. They're not sins in any sense. The OP was speaking more to "vices" anyway - probably things like alcohol / tobacco purchases, gambling, specific weight of crimes (for example, how much a traffic ticket costs as opposed to vandalism), etc.

You seem to have gone with a rather wild extrapolation of what I had said.

EDIT - I also forgot to mention the 8th Amendment with regard to your concern about excessive fines and "banishment" as well as other forms of cruel and unusual punishment. I think you may have simply misconstrued my claim that local communities should have more control over legislature as a claim that they should have absolute control over legislature. This particular fear was, i thought, addressed by my statement appending that the federal government and state / national constitutions would legislate the "most important stuff." But, admittedly, the "most important stuff" was rather vague on my part, and for that misunderstanding, I apologize.


I appreciate informed discussion that happens without rancor. The things I mentioned have at one time or another been crimes in various states in the United States. It's only been recently that more enlightened views have become the legal ones, and many of the populous Christian sects in the United States still consider them all to be sins. The Supreme Court has upheld banishment as a form of state punishment, as long a small section of the state is excluded. I grew up Southern Baptist and everything I mentioned is still believed by them and other conservative Protestant churches to be sins. And the clothing for men and women, it wasn't to long ago that wearing a dress by a man in public was punishable by most of the states with fines and prison time, just like a woman wearing pants was punishable by fines in the 1800s and early 1900s in most of the states. The reason why the federal government had to step in, was that local communities and states would pass laws that would violate the Constitution and enforce those laws until they were forced to stop.

But once again, it is satisfying being able to disagree with someone without it becoming a screamfest and rant. Anime watchers are the best.
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Posted 5/21/14



Many of the laws don't run state to state, but I don't think you should be able to have sex with a sixteen year-old anywhere



It's when you hear about 18 year olds getting arrested for having sex with a sixteen year old that it gets a little confusing. That's like, the difference between a high school sophomore and a senior.
Posted 5/21/14

Bearhand73 wrote:

I appreciate informed discussion that happens without rancor. The things I mentioned have at one time or another been crimes in various states in the United States. It's only been recently that more enlightened views have become the legal ones, and many of the populous Christian sects in the United States still consider them all to be sins. The Supreme Court has upheld banishment as a form of state punishment, as long a small section of the state is excluded. I grew up Southern Baptist and everything I mentioned is still believed by them and other conservative Protestant churches to be sins. And the clothing for men and women, it wasn't to long ago that wearing a dress by a man in public was punishable by most of the states with fines and prison time, just like a woman wearing pants was punishable by fines in the 1800s and early 1900s in most of the states. The reason why the federal government had to step in, was that local communities and states would pass laws that would violate the Constitution and enforce those laws until they were forced to stop.

But once again, it is satisfying being able to disagree with someone without it becoming a screamfest and rant. Anime watchers are the best.


Yea, I definitely understand where you're coming from and respect your opinion. As I said, I thought my view was rather idealistic as well - underestimating the crazy laws communities will vote for.

Which is partially why I still stand by the first view I mentioned - it just seems better to avoid legislating morality. I consider myself a fairly conservative protestant (well, as conservative as a protestant anime fan can be lol) and mixing theology regarding sin and law has just never gone well with us. Especially with all our mistakes, bad doctrine, and misapplication of scripture. My whole "legislative power for communites" tangent was kind of just an interesting / crazy theory i'd been thinking about lately lol
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Posted 5/21/14

Davidvauhn wrote:




Many of the laws don't run state to state, but I don't think you should be able to have sex with a sixteen year-old anywhere



It's when you hear about 18 year olds getting arrested for having sex with a sixteen year old that it gets a little confusing. That's like, the difference between a high school sophomore and a senior.


I don't understand that either but some states allow consented sex between and 18 yr old and 16 yr old, but it reaches a certain limit (which is 20 I believe)

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Posted 5/21/14 , edited 5/21/14
as long as such sin does not violate the Non-Aggression Principle, I am ok with it....from there, people have to take responsibility for their own actions.
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Posted 5/21/14

vash_loveandpeace wrote:



Some people have ill-wills, I just think it's childish. For example if you are a gay couple and seek marriage, why does a church who does not approve of your lifestyle have to be forced to hold your marriage because of threats to sue them. I

kind of understand why people want to have weddings, it can mean different things to many people (e.x. showing everyone you are coming into union with someone) but for myself I want it because I would want to tell everyone why I love my new wife, and why she is the best. Yes I do agree though there is a crazy get-up with the "marriage image": ring, wedding, and party. If I love you and you love me do I need a ring to ask you to marry me? I don't have loads of money to afford a ring but I think love is more then a ring, Yet I do think marriage is more then signing a paper it's a man and wife becoming one.

I think most of what you said was right apart from the marriage being a just signing a paper.


Like I know it;s more than signing a piece of paper, to me it's a lot more but to some people it's signing a piece of paper.
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