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Debate Info

20
17
Yes No
Debate Score:37
Arguments:34
Total Votes:39
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (18)
 
 No (15)

Debate Creator

Kalamazoo(333) pic



Should one abide by one's religious beliefs even though it means breaking a law?

There are those who have a religious based, conscientious objection to promoting the marriage of, and/or aiding in the sexual activites of gay couples. Such objections can take the form of resusal to bake a wedding cake celebrating the couple's union, or a proprietor not allowing a same gender couple share a room at his Inn. These two aforementioned examples are actual cases and in both instances the law was broken. Have the conscience objectors not got a right to be allowed to follow the teachings of their faith? Should the legislators not have made an ''opt out'' clause on the basis that those who had legitimate grounds could respectfully refuse their services? 

Yes

Side Score: 20
VS.

No

Side Score: 17
1 point

Yes sure, but then you can forget about everything that the law protects you from ;) Someone disagrees with your religious beliefs, its their right to stab you in the face and the law won't do shit to stop it :)

Don't respect the law, it won't respect you. Unless you live in Ferguson ;)

Side: Yes
1 point

If I had religious convictions, I would hold them as the foundation upon which just laws are built. Any law that doesn't fit my conviction I would be compelled to change or to break.

Anyone with religious convictions that call for a breach of law would be weak of charecter if they didn't. Besides, then we know who's really dangerous, depending on the breach.

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes, I mean if you really believe that God told you to do something, then you're not gonna care what people say!

Side: Yes
1 point

Well the question is not will people do this, the question is should they. Why should someone's personal belief that they've heard God tell them to do something overshadow the rules set in place by society around them?

Side: No
1 point

It depends on if the laws are reasonable. If it is a law banning their religion without good reason (ex: human sacrifices), then yes, it should be perfectly okay. If it is telling them not to perform human sacrifices, then that law is reasonable, and should be followed, as that religion is harmful (though they all are, in my opinion, it would be more harmful than others).

Side: Yes

Religion is the belief we hold and how can we go against our beliefs;Belief comes before Law;Underling the significance of law,one cannot overshadow his religion even if he has to commit something wrong,morally distasteful.

Side: Yes
1 point

I picked yes, but I will qualify it a bit. It's a difficult, and therefore a very good question. The actual proper stance, (and the one I subscribe to), would be that if the law in question were a civil law, which involved state imposed immorality, or injustice then the natural law, or the law of God should prevail above all else, and a believer would have a duty not to commit an immoral act, or an unjust act, simply because of an immoral or unjust law. The qualification is, if the law is moral and just, then we must abide by it, and pursue a change in the law by moral means. At the worst, a believer could only engage in what is called "civil disobedience", and then only regarding unjust and immoral laws. Generally, Christians and Jews, anyway, choose to die or be imprisoned if compulsory desecration or blasphemy is imposed on them. An example would be the Roman Empire trying to force Christians to renounce Christ, and worship pagan gods. When they would not, they were used as entertainment in the Roman "circus", as they were killed by various means.

One fascinating and inspirational case was that of Sir Thomas More, (see the movie "A Man For All Seasons". Here was a man fiercely loyal to his king, (Henry VIII). But when asked to approve of Henry's killing of one wife and marrying another, he could not, and would not say that was right. In the mean time, he served the king faithfully. In the end, Henry had him imprisoned, and then eventually beheaded, simply for holding a moral stance, and not backing the king in immorality. He was faithful to the king in all other aspects, as we should be. Sorry to be so long winded, but it is a deep question, whether intended that way or not.

Side: Yes
0 points

yes and no this would entirely depend on how devoted you are to that religion.

Side: Yes

Yeah,I am pretty sure we the Christians value our Laws of the Country more than our religion so we often take to the streets to protest against an injustice,light up candles to show our consolation forgetting the fact that our laws make it clear "No unnecessary jams in traffic'.

Side: Yes

The problem here is that both the law and religion can stem from the same source: man-made documents. If one conflicts with the other, it is a squabble of two human beliefs fighting eachother, each with similar grounding. There is, however, a difference.

One's personal religious beliefs are just that: personal. Of course, they may come from a source material, such as the Bible, but that does not mean that the beliefs aren't your own. One does not follow every decree in the Bible (otherwise there would be a lot more murders) but rather takes the ones that they most connect with, believe, and find reasonable.

The law, on the other hand, is defined by a group of people. In America, for example, laws are defined by a large group of elected government officials. Everyone living in America has agreed to abide by these rules. If a person believes it is their right to murder, steal, rape, and kill, that goes against these rules and that person is in the wrong.

Of course, personal beliefs are important, and people have the freedom to think. However, that does NOT give people the right to reject the law of the society they live in. This is of course not a perfect model, as government can be corrupt, and rights should not be stopped, but by only following your personal belief, you have no way to measure the negative impact on others.

Side: No
1 point

A religion, of course, has its own laws. However, when someone chooses to follow a religion, I believe they are allowed to have their own stance how much they follow their religion. This can mean that the person's religious beliefs does not include breaking the law. However, radicals who 'abide' by their religion should not break the law for their religion. In most countries today, the law is in acceptance of all religions and so there is nothing to stop a person from abiding with their own beliefs. As society develops many religious beliefs are adapted to suit society. For example, gays are said to be mentioned as evil throughout the Bible. But, many churches today decide that being gay is not a sin. I am Christian. I believe in Jesus' main two laws of love God and Love your neighbour. This means I accept all the people around me.

Side: No
1 point

Have the conscience objectors not got a right to be allowed to follow the teachings of their faith?

That is an interesting question. Can you point to the section of the Bible that says don't provide services to sinners? Your examples are people who decided to break the law and had no conflict with their religion.

Side: No
1 point

The Christian scriptures denounces ''same gender sex'' as ''an abomination''. Some people live by the strict interpretation of the bible and it's application to every day life. They feel that any deviation from it's teaching is a sin in the eye's of their god. In this context do such devout Christians not have a right to give predominance to the law of their god over the man made laws of their country? The denial of extending Christians the fundamental freedom to follow the teachings of their scriptures is a blatant and willful breach of their human rights.

Side: No
1 point

Who is preventing Christians from holding their own personal objection to same-sex marriage, or homosexuality in general?

Are you implying that because they are required to serve all customers, that somehow means they are being forced to hold different opinions? The Bible does not require you to refuse sinners service (how could it, because then you would not have any customers).

Side: Yes
Jrob(134) Disputed
1 point

What about the gay people demanding to have leadership in OUR church, which IS against homosexuality...hmm? It has happened.

Side: No
Cartman(18192) Disputed
1 point

Some people live by the strict interpretation of the bible and it's application to every day life.

Which part of the Bible says that is the way to do it?

They feel that any deviation from it's teaching is a sin in the eye's of their god. In this context do such devout Christians not have a right to give predominance to the law of their god over the man made laws of their country?

No, since that would violate the part of the Bible that says to follow the laws of the land.

The denial of extending Christians the fundamental freedom to follow the teachings of their scriptures is a blatant and willful breach of their human rights.

They aren't being denied anything. The Bible does not say you aren't allowed to provide services to sinners.

Side: Yes
1 point

Coming in here to add my two cents.

Which part of the Bible says that is the way to do it?

This argument isn't about "the Bible vs. the law." It's about one's personal religious beliefs, and as such one's personal interpretation of bible. Regardless of whether or not the Bible suggests you take a strict interoperation, some people do, and that can be hurtful.

No, since that would violate the part of the Bible that says to follow the laws of the land.

Again, it's not about what the Bible itself says, it's about what the people believe. While the source of their beliefs may not say to violate the laws of the land, that by no means signifies that they personally believe in that teaching.

Also, what do you do when the laws of the land and the teachings of the Bible conflict? According to the famous line in the Bible about homosexuality: If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Put to death. That goes against the laws against murder in our society, as well as one of the 10 Commandments. What is a person supposed to do in this situation? They will follow their personal belief, and choose what they think is right. Our argument is that in that case, the person should choose to follow the law of the land.

They aren't being denied anything. The Bible does not say you aren't allowed to provide services to sinners.

Once again, just because "The Bible says" doesn't mean that all those who read the Bible will believe this. As is apparent in today's society, many Christians unfortunately don't try to assist sinners, but rather shun, hate, and abuse those who they find unnatural, unholy, or wrong.

Side: No
Jace(5220) Disputed
1 point

Restricting religiously motivated action towards others when it has been deemed harmful and in breach of the rights of others is a legitimate act of governance that weighs competing rights claims against each other, and hardly constitutes a "blatant" breach of human rights.

Side: Yes
1 point

In the case of the bakery owner, he had no objection to serving the gay couple with any pre-made item from his shop. He was not being discriminatory in the true, or accepted meaning of the word. He did however, refuse to decorate a cake which depicted an illustration, accompanied by messages of love glorifying the state of a gay marriage. He, sincerely, and genuinely perceived that such active participation would have been judged by his god as a deliberate act of disobedience against the clear message which the holy scriptures of his religion gives on this subject. The here to day, gone tomorrow laws of the land are to be obeyed by everyone but it would have been prudent for the legislators to have provided a built in clause whereby the judiciary had accommodation to exercise a degree of discretionary flexibility. It's not so long ago that homosexuality was a custodial offence with such outstanding geniuses as Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde being imprisoned for their deviant sexual orientation. Laws change with the mood of the nation and sentencing can depend on the whim of a Judge. This makes the sentencing of such crimes arbitrary and therefore unfair. Were the Romans justified in persecuting and crucifying Christians for not obeying the law of Rome? Throughout the ages people of all religious beliefs have been persecuted for their strict adherence to their the scriptures of their faith. Such primeval and draconian laws laugh in the face of the claim that we have achieved an ''enlightened'' state of civilization in which everyone is free to express their religious beliefs and live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the scriptures of their respective faiths. The strict limitations imposed on Christians in pursuit of their faith by the administrations of many Muslim countries is not a million miles away from the sweeping and inflexible of laws in this country. It is important to remain sufficiently open minded to be able to recognise when a flaw exists in one or more laws and to have the political courage to redress the fault(s).

Side: No
Cartman(18192) Disputed
2 points

He, sincerely, and genuinely perceived that such active participation would have been judged by his god as a deliberate act of disobedience against the clear message which the holy scriptures of his religion gives on this subject.

Again, there are 0 scriptures saying that you should not help sinners. In fact, there are scriptures that say don't judge others, and to treat your neighbor like your brother.

The here to day, gone tomorrow laws of the land are to be obeyed by everyone but it would have been prudent for the legislators to have provided a built in clause whereby the judiciary had accommodation to exercise a degree of discretionary flexibility.

This doesn't make any sense. You want the country to come up with laws and then let everyone break them if they feel like it. Do you not understand the concept of laws?

Were the Romans justified in persecuting and crucifying Christians for not obeying the law of Rome?

If the penalty for what they did was the same for non-Christians, then yes.

Throughout the ages people of all religious beliefs have been persecuted for their strict adherence to their the scriptures of their faith.

No, for their strict interpretation of their faith which like in this case was probably wrong.

Such primeval and draconian laws laugh in the face of the claim that we have achieved an ''enlightened'' state of civilization in which everyone is free to express their religious beliefs and live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the scriptures of their respective faiths.

Ha, draconian to force someone to do his job or face lawsuits. Funny.

The strict limitations imposed on Christians in pursuit of their faith by the administrations of many Muslim countries is not a million miles away from the sweeping and inflexible of laws in this country.

Yes, yes it is. You are being overly dramatic.

It is important to remain sufficiently open minded to be able to recognise when a flaw exists in one or more laws and to have the political courage to redress the fault(s).

Oh, but being open minded about someone being in love is completely ridiculous.

Side: Yes
Jace(5220) Disputed
1 point

There is no right which exists within a vacuum, and so there can be no purely unrestricted right. To reference your examples as "draconian" and falsely equate them to considerably more severe restrictions (e.g. execution) is patently absurd.

Where once homosexuality was considered socially deviant and harmful, now religiously intolerant and discriminant acts towards homosexuals are. What is "fair" or "just" is fundamentally subjective, and there will never be agreement as to what actually constitutes them. The laws are ultimately the consequence of the preponderance of power and whomever wields it.

Side: Yes
1 point

The laws of most countries are made for the good of all the people including religious groups and ethnic minorities. It is recognised that draconian laws, rigidly enforced can cause more crimes than they solve. Your ignorance of the legislative procedures in your own country graphically illustrates you as the benighted and mischievous little imp you are. Many laws contain a ''CONSCIENCE CLAUSE'' which makes provision for the exemption or other allowances on the grounds of moral or religious beliefs. By their it's very existence Christianity has been breaking the laws of many of the countries in which it is followed since it's formation. You are clearly an unworthy debating opponent as your drivel is meaningless and you are obviously incapable of composing and presenting an independent counter argument on any issue. Like all parasites you depend on a superior entity upon which to leech and act as a crutch. I've done with you, so please go and yodel up the canyon, or some other activity more commensurate with your arrested intellect.

Side: No
Cartman(18192) Disputed
1 point

The laws of most countries are made for the good of all the people including religious groups and ethnic minorities.

Which is exactly why your example is terrible. The law allows everyone access to wedding cake so they can live a normal life.

It is recognised that draconian laws, rigidly enforced can cause more crimes than they solve.

Which is exactly why your example is terrible. What crime can come from a law that says if you take money for services you have to take money for services?

Your ignorance of the legislative procedures in your own country graphically illustrates you as the benighted and mischievous little imp you are.

Which is exactly why your example is terrible. I haven't said anything incorrect.

Many laws contain a ''CONSCIENCE CLAUSE'' which makes provision for the exemption or other allowances on the grounds of moral or religious beliefs

Which is exactly why your example is terrible. This one doesn't have that.

By their it's very existence Christianity has been breaking the laws of many of the countries in which it is followed since it's formation.

Which is exactly why your example is terrible. The baker doesn't live in one of those countries.

You are clearly an unworthy debating opponent as your drivel is meaningless and you are obviously incapable of composing and presenting an independent counter argument on any issue.

Really. If that were true, how come you can't give me any examples in the Bible that say don't serve sinners?

I've done with you

You haven't addressed any of my arguments. How can you be done with me before you have even started?

Side: Yes
Jace(5220) Disputed
1 point

Moral and religious exemption clauses are categorically obtuse in my opinion, rendering your dependence upon their assumed validity for your argument an obvious weakness.

Side: Yes
1 point

The function of law is to regulate behavior in the interests of the collective. If the collective determines that a particular religious practice (e.g. refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple) is a detriment to itself that merits restriction (e.g. forcing them to bake the cake) then that is the prerogative of the law to enact the restriction.

If a religious person determines to break that law, they may consider it right in their perspective but their personal subjective moral conscious has been subsumed and subjugated by the greater will. It is their prerogative to act against the law regardless, but the consequences should not be unexpected and nor do they have any particularly valid premise to act surprised when they are penalized accordingly.

Side: No

The law of the land is the one that should be abided by at all times regardless of what ever religion you follow! no religion is above the law and rightly so!

Side: No
stevetc(65) Disputed
1 point

Civil law is our relation to man's civic state.

Religion is our relation to God, our creator.

Civil law is NOT above the natural laws of God.

Civil law is good, and intended for the good of others, and because of that, it usually within the natural law.

It is only to the extent that the state oversteps the laws of nature and God, and what is right, that a law becomes unjust, and sometimes immoral or unethical when compared to the reality of natural law. When this occurs, and ONLY when this occurs, it is the duty of the citizen to stand up for what is right. A society which truly embraces freedom first and foremost protects a persons right to do what one should. in other words, the right to do what is right. It is when this freedom is taken away by a law, that we must stand in disobedience. However, even in this instance, we should also be willing to accept the punishment of the civil authority, and we must never do violence ourselves, even if the civil authority does.

Side: Yes

People cannot discriminate based on one's religious beliefs.

Side: No