I would love to know what other people think on the issue of religious slaughter and its circumventing of the law...

Is it acceptable that animal should suffer (even more) for religious reasons based on the magic books of a minority?

What is the wider impact of tolerating this kind of nonsense on the religion/law debate? 

My view is that the law is the law and supercedes any religion because religion is a choice, in the same way that rape and murder are a choice, If societies start to allow the religions a way out based on their choice to believe, where will it stop? On the same logic, isn't killing infidels ok for muslims as it's in the koran? Or rape and slavery fine if practiced by xtians because there they are pretty much condoned in the bible?

Seems like a slippery slope to me..

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"Seems like a slippery slope to me.."

that gaaldarn slope keeps following me everywhere, I wish someone would put down some salt/sand already!!!

Under current Law animals are property and the owner of property may do whatever with property he/she wishes.  The Law doesn't make a distinction between you and some friends having a BBQ because you like the taste of Baby Back Ribs or your doG likes the smell.  The pig was still property, no Laws were broken.

Hi Gregg thanks for taking the time to post, are you in the US? I was really meaning commercial slaughter, here in Europe the law requires that all animals be stunned prior to slaughter but makes an exception for religious slaughter (currently Islam and jewish) which seems to me to set a dangerous precedent for religion being above the law.

Yes, I'm an American or in the language of my nation "I's b Merican, whooahh". :)

The other theoretical possibility is that it's a law that shouldn't exist but religions get what we call a "carve out" or exemption.

To illustrate:  One case that is like this is certain religious cults trying to get permission to do certain illegal drugs.  The drugs shouldn't be illegal in the first place, but those religions are seeking a carve out on religious grounds, when what SHOULD happen is the stupid law should be repealed for everyone.

@Greg, in other places, it's "Murrica!"

Hi Steve, interesting point on repeal of stupid laws, but wouldn't a standard test need to be applied to a law to decide whether or not it should be repealed? Something along the lines of majority opinion and the greater good? For your drugs example, and I don't know if that is representative of your opinion or just an example, would the majority want drugs legalised and would legalisation be for the greater good? If such a dual test isn't applied then there wouldn't be any laws left, every person who had ever had a speeding ticket would be anti speeding laws, you might even get a majority, who knows? But would no speed control be for the greater good? In my religious slaughter example, 4% of people in the UK are muslim, but 51% of lamb is slaughtered halal. Is the halal religious exception demanded by the majority? No. Is halal meat for the greater good? No; In fact there is evidence to the contrary. Personally I don't want my meat prayed over, I don't care which direction it's facing when it dies and I'd prefer its life and death to be as painless and stress-free as possible. But my main objection is that such a tiny percentage of the population gets to choose, on purely religious grounds, to opt out of a law passed by a democratically elected government. The west is bouncing around the world introducing democracy everywhere else, but this kind of nonsense is eroding democracy at home and purely for religious reasons. I think we have to bear in mind that religion is a CHOICE and if we didn't pander to anything in the religious books then citizens would be faced with the option of breaking the law in order to follow their choice or abandoning religion with all of its bad bits and just espousing all the love and decency parts which  atheists seem to manage without recourse to a bloke with a beard sitting on a cloud.

Hi.  If I understand the terminology correctly, on the Continent I'd be called a "Liberal."  I hope I'm right about that, otherwise I've just given you the wrong impression.   My basis for whether a law is proper or not is whether it forbids an action that doesn't harm another's rights. 

Someone doing peyote doesn't violate another's rights, therefore the government has no business banning it.  And I hold that, regardless of how many people in that society favor such a law.  Someone forcing someone to go through FGM, on the other hand, does violate that person's right, thus a government should ban it.  In the latter (FGM) case, of course, an exemption for any reason is odious.  In the former...well there are arguments.  Some figure the exemption means at least some people get freedom of action that harms no one but (possibly) themselves.  Others maintain that enforcing an unjust law on everyone might help bring about its repeal.

Hi Steve

I don't think we are especially far apart on that, I don't believe in legislation for legislation's sake.  I know absolutely nothing about peyote, so I can't comment with any knowledge, other than to say that if it doesn't cause users to present any kind of danger to others (crime to pay for it, erratic driving under its influence, inability to contribute to society as a result of its use, cost to healthcare system dealing with its effects) then I can't see why its use should be illegal, but that should apply to everyone equally (maybe except for children, but I don't know enough about it to be sure?). If it is illegal then it should be illegal for everyone equally and there should be no exceptions. What do you think?

Hi Michelle:

In America we five levels of laws The Constitution,Federal, State, County, City.

For example currently the Federal Law makes possessing Marijuana illegal, Some States have made it legal, some cities differ from the State.

I carry a concealed 9mm pistol, it's legal in some places, illegal in some others.

Our drug laws are politically based not rationally based...good times, good times. ;(

(crime to pay for it, erratic driving under its influence, inability to contribute to society as a result of its use, cost to healthcare system dealing with its effects)

The "crime to pay for it" of course is a consequence of its illegality.  In a free market for them, as opposed to a black market, most "illegal drugs" would be absurdly cheap and all would be significantly cheaper than they are now.  There'd be no crime to support a habit, though I could easily imagine a drug many of whose consumers have a tendency to become violent assholes and get into fights.  But, I'm pretty sure France, unlike America, had the good sense not to try banning alcohol.  Our prohibition created a huge criminal class...alcohol merchants are, in a freer market in alcohol, more likely to be crime victims than criminals themselves.

Driving erratically of course should be treated as its own problem regardless of the cause.  If "people drive erratically under its influence" were a reason to ban something, then it would justify banning alcohol.  I'm pretty sure France, unlike America, had the good sense not to try doing that.

As for medical costs, ideally people would handle those in a way where they pay the costs of their own bad habits instead of passing them off to others.  (As soon as you do THAT, then ANY intrusion on your lifestyle can be justified.  "I'm not paying to scoop your brains up off the pavement if you ride a motorcycle without a helmet."  "I'm not willing to pay for your lung cancer." "I'm not willing to pay for your cirrhosis of the liver," etc.  All someone has to do is convince people that some behavior is unhealthy.)  But, I'm pretty sure that France, unlike America, had the good sense not to try banning alcohol under such reasoning.

If you've caught a common pattern here (you might even suspect me of repeating myself), it's because there IS a common pattern.  People who support banning "illegal drugs" use arguments that can be used to justify banning the ones they themselves most likely use.  I can see the palpable hypocrisy there.  I personally don't use alcohol and cigarettes, but I see no point to banning them, and thus no point to banning the other stuff either.

As I've indicated, people who do want the law to take a live-and-let-live attitude tend to be of two minds on the exemption issue.  I tend to lean towards "exempt no one, but use their desire to avoid a pointless law as an argument towards repealing it," myself.

@Steve in the mountains:

"I could easily imagine a drug many of whose consumers have a tendency to become violent assholes and get into fights."

I do believe that one's called alcohol.

I think you missed my irony there--especially since I allude to the folly of banning alcohol in the very next sentence.

Having failed the irony check, you must spend three days on probation, and not engage in anything more than aluminumy.

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