A Major Step Toward Justice: Have the courage to tell people their beliefs are immoral

A Major Step Toward Justice: Have the courage to tell people their beliefs are immoral June 21, 2016

I am here entering the URL for the article. My essay is beneath it.

California Bill Would Ultimately Erase Religious Schools

This is very important story. I had not known about this California bill. It is intended to protect not just LGBTQ people, but everyone, from being harmed by false beliefs. A belief cannot be falsified by the scientific method, if it is a genuinely nondisprovable hypothesis, but it can be falsified by Wm James’ pragmatic test: if it harms people instead of benefiting them,

The author of this article lets it slip that he or she knows that, by saying, “Bills like this set precedents. They change how we think about what is acceptable, and this one in particular may open the door for civil suits that have the potential to ultimately eradicate religious activities from public life.” Notice, “They CHANGE how we think.” Yes, that is its ultimate purpose.

Martin Luther King once said (i’m paraphrasing), I cannot keep a man from hating me, but I can prevent him from killing me. As Leon Festinger pointed out, in his theory of cognitive dissonance, people cannot stand having to believe one way but behave another, and if you constrain their behavior, then they will change their beliefs.

I teach Ethics these days; so I’ve had to work out a precise definition of where evil begins. Evil (which has no objective existence; it is always a matter of intent) begins by being wiling to not even try to protect another person from being harmed unnecessarily. It gets worse from there–but I’ll skip those details for now.

Creationism and believing that every word of the Bible is literally true are also false beliefs, because they lead to harm. The American social contract guarantees your freedom to believe whatever you like–but not if your belief infringes my freedom, and especially not if it is used as an excuse for harming me. ,

What this author (and his or her ilk) means by “religious freedom” is “freedom to coerce” and thus to harm. The media are full of examples of that these days. Such people never get it that the purpose of the First Amendment was to prevent people like them from gaining control of the government. And its second clause, against limiting the free exercise of religion, was not intended to allow people to use their beliefs as an excuse for harm, any more than the Second Amendment was intended to allow the mentally unstable to open carry weapons useful only for committing mass murder.

So, yes, this bill is a step toward beginning to cure the endemic mental illness of false religion, of unteachability, of the first stage of evil. Blessings on the California Legislature for their collective sanity.

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