Former astronaut Julie Payette to be Canada's next governor general

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Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And to bring this back to the topic, there are plenty of religious people who aren't as brainwashed as some assume, and who completely support what Payette said.

Quote one that agrees with mocking people for believing divine intervention guided evolution.  

6079_Smith_W

Michael Coren, above. He said she was rash, and naive enough to leave an opening for those who would exploit her words. But he also said she was right, and that those who choose to take offense might want to consider what they are getting upset about.

As he nicely summed it up, "Oh please."

Personally, I think those who promote intelligent design deserve a lot more than mocking. It is a callous attempt to undermine science education and an attack on secularism.

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

For Pondering:

How would you prove that I am not God?

I wouldn't nor would I need to. 

Rev Pesky wrote:
​ When the Catholic school system in Ontario is weaned off taxpayers money, when churches are no longer tax-free, when Trinity Western University no longer has the right to make students agree to religion based covenants, when religion no longer tells us what we can and cannot teach in schools, then perhaps we can end this discussion. Religion is important because of the role it plays in our society, not because of it's inherent truthfulness.

Quebec ended denominational public schools a long time ago but still subsidizes some private schools which are religion based but there is push back against that too. I don't think donations of any sort should be tax free including charities and non-profits in general. The influence religion has over educational institutions and public life has been shrinking for a long time without having to prove God doesn't exist.

Science is winning without proving that there is no God just as it has been winning without proving there is no Santa Claus or there are no fairies.

Science is winning because it can be proven. Religion is losing because it can't be proven. 

Rev Pesky

6079_Smith_W said:

This guy explains it in a bit more detail:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/terry-eagleton/lunging-flailing-mispunching

This is nothing more than the reiteration of the tired old religous arguments. I can tell you that I was rasied in a middle of the road Christian home, and Dawkins tells it exactly like it is. Eagleton goes on about Thomas Aquinas and other theologians, then castigates Dawkins for not having studied them to death before pronouncing on religion.

​But what of the theologians? What have they brought to religion? How many angels dance on the heads of pins? Theologians have done nothing for the human race, and precious little for the Christian religion. And Eagleton should know that. 

Rev Pesky

Pondering said in response to my request as to how to prove that I'm not God:

I wouldn't nor would I need to. 

Which is not the point. You don't need to prove I'm God, nor do you even have to believe I'm God. But earlier on you were asking me to prove God doesn't exist. I merely turned that argument around, in the hopes of showing the argument to be futile.

Now, I'll ask again, in a slightly different way. If someone asked you to prove that I wasn't God, how would you do so?

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And why when Richard Dawkins declared that he doesn't have to study leprechaunology to assert that leprechauns don't exist, he just proves that he really doesn't get the point.

Sure. But if he is going to write a presumed scholarly work on the subject - that is, why people do believe in God -  he should at least do his homework. He didn't. In fact, he bragged about the fact he didn't.

Let's pin this down a bit. There are two separate questions at work here: what people believe (which is what theology applies to), and why they believe it (which is more properly the task of psychology and sociology). Dawkins's "leprechaunology" comment gets a fair bit of criticism, so I'd like to try an analogy between religion and another set of bad ideas: racism.

I imagine most of us have encountered committed racists at one point or another in our lives. If in a hypothetical conversation, they responded to "Racism is wrong and bad for society" with "Have you read The Bell Curve? Have you read Ann Coulter? Have you read Mein Kampf? See, you don't have any idea what you're talking about! You're proud of your ignorance!", I don't think most of us would step back, acknowledge how wrong we were to have skipped over the literary canon of racism, and redouble our efforts to analyze white supremacy on its own terms.

Why? Because these authors aren't scientific scholars, but committed ideologues who wrote those books to provide some veneer of intellectual justification for things they already believe. So it is with theology. Theologians start with the premises in questions as axioms (God exists, my religion's interpretation of him is right, my book is holy) and then proceed with pseudo-intellectual masturbation to answer the pesky questions that come up when one tries to analyze those premises.

Theology (also known, in the Christian canon, as apologetics) only makes any sense when you begin with accepting the truth of religion as a given. It's used by religious people as an attempted shield of their beliefs from scientific analysis, with the goal of moving religion into a non-overlapping magisterium. For theologians, when doctrine conflicts with observable facts, it's the job of theology to explain why those facts are wrong, or why doctrine really supported those facts all along. This is the complete opposite of the scientific method. If religion can only be argued against on its own theological grounds, the battle's lost before it begins, because those theological documents were expressly written to rule out atheism. Dawkins's "leprechaunology" comment is a justified attempt to move the grounds for analysis back to where they belong: what can be observed, verified, and replicated.

6079_Smith_W

Not if he is going to write a book about it. Though I can see why some aren't too critical about his nonexistent scholarship.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Not if he is going to write a book about it.

If someone wishes to write a book about the rational universe, and the non-existence of Gods and other mythical and magical beings, what, specificially, should they have to study?

a) science books that attempt to explain the universe and what's in it in objective and observed terms

b) theology books that attempt to explain the universe and what's in it according to the author's pre-existing religious faith

If someone takes it upon themself to write a book about genetics, I don't think we'd suggest they're obligated to read about Lamarckism, unless they're just curious.

"Oh, gee, this one guy believed differently!  What a game-changer!"

6079_Smith_W

One might expect something to do with the actual philosophies behind religion, rather than leaping to the conclusion that it is all about fear - because he wasn't just considering the existence of a god, but belief systems. Like I said, I am not surprised that some have the same blind spot and don't see the problem, but even as an atheist I found that book worse than thin gruel; it was completely dishonest.

I expect he is exactly the sort that Einstein wanted nothing to do with - a condescending know it all.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I expect he is exactly the sort that Einstein wanted nothing to do with - a condescending know it all.

Well, if he's condescending, or acts like he has all the answers then I can't really defend that.

I just wonder why his writing would have more credibility if only he'd read hundreds more Christian authors who were condescending and act like they have all the answers.

Progressives seem to agree that the Church of Scientology is a scam, and nobody needs to read everything L. Frank Hubbard wrote in order to earn the right to say so.  If there's no proof that "Thetans" ever existed then functionally, they're a fiction.  But I have do do all sorts of research on bushes (burning or otherwise) before I can smirk at burning bushes?

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

Pondering said in response to my request as to how to prove that I'm not God:

I wouldn't nor would I need to. 

Which is not the point. You don't need to prove I'm God, nor do you even have to believe I'm God. But earlier on you were asking me to prove God doesn't exist. I merely turned that argument around, in the hopes of showing the argument to be futile.

Now, I'll ask again, in a slightly different way. If someone asked you to prove that I wasn't God, how would you do so?

I'm not asking you to prove God doesn't exist I'm saying it can't be done and there is no need for it either. When religion and science clash science wins because science relies on proof. Where religion and science (or law) do not clash it's not a problem. When it is a problem the only tactic that seems to have an impact is education (and law). Mocking has no history of working. 

If someone asked me to prove that you aren't God I would ask them why, what does it matter to them? I don't mind if you want to believe you are God or if other people want to believe you are God. I also don't mind if you think you are Santa Claus or the Prime Minister. 

Rev Pesky

6079_Smith_W said:

One might expect something to do with the actual philosophies behind religion,

You have that on backwards. First came religion, then came the philosophy of religion.

Further from 6079_Smith_W:

Like I said, I am not surprised that some have the same blind spot and don't see the problem,

I am curious to know why you're not surprised, and what exactly is the problem?

6079_Smith_W

Funny you should mention ellron. William Burroughs wrote an article which both cut through that black magic gangster and recognized that he did (initially anyway) have something that was useful, even if it was larded up with a ridiculous myth and used to sell a scam. There were, after all, a number of  people (A.E. Van Vogt was another) who used dianetics but were disillusioned with where ellron was taking scientology. As Burroughs sums it up, no body of knowledge needs an organizational policy.

http://www.suburbia.net/~fun/scn/etc/wsb3.html

Now if Dawkins had taken even a slightly professional approach in his book he might have been a bit less obvious. As it is the guy is such an idealogue that it is nothing but a hatchet job that really has very little to do with why people do believe. He obviously had no understanding of his subject matter, and didn't seem to want to take the time to find out. Really, his audience was like-minded anti-religious atheists. No surprise that they think he did a great job.

 

Rev Pesky

Thomas Paine said:

Thomas Paine the American revolutionary, wrote in his two part work The Age of Reason, "The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion. Not anything can be studied as a science, without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing.

Theology begins with the assumption that God exists. Otherwise what would be the point?

So theologians, by that assumption, avoid having to prove God exists, but hear them complain when someone says God doesn't exist. 

Rev Pesky

6079_Smith_W said:

Though I can see why some aren't too critical about his nonexistent scholarship.

Jeez, this is reaching, even for you. Dawkins went to a 'Church of England' private school, then spent 3 years at Balliol College at Oxford. 

Around there you would absorb Christian theology by osmosis. You couldn't possibly avoid it.

Rev Pesky

From Burroughs on Scientology:

Some of the techniques are highly valuable and warrant further study and experimentation. The E Meter is a useful device ...

William Burroughs, ya gotta love him. Great poet, lousy scientist.

But a little bit more on Dianetic, Hubbard's 'science':

In August 1950, amidst the success of Dianetics, Hubbard held a demonstration in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium where he presented a young woman called Sonya Bianca (a pseudonym) to a large audience including many reporters and photographers as 'the world's first Clear.'

Despite Hubbard's claim that she had "full and perfect recall of every moment of her life", Bianca proved unable to answer questions from the audience testing her memory and analytical abilities, including the question of the color of Hubbard's tie. Hubbard explained Bianca's failure to display her promised powers of recall to the audience by saying that he had used the word "now" in calling her to the stage, and thus inadvertently froze her in "present time," which blocked her abilities.

 

6079_Smith_W

Rev Pesky wrote:

So theologians, by that assumption, avoid having to prove God exists, but hear them complain when someone says God doesn't exist. 

Except in this case there are a lot who aren't complaining, and who in fact have said she is right. And some of those who are complaining aren't doing it on religious grounds at all, but because they think the GG shouldn't be saying things that challenge people's ways of thinking.

And personally I think doing exercises that identify unhealthy ways of thinking and harmful associations and help you let go of them is  actually a useful thing. You just don't have to buy into the notion that they come from demons, or that you got them on another planet. Not all religions do that either.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And some of those who are complaining aren't doing it on religious grounds at all, but because they think the GG shouldn't be saying things that challenge people's ways of thinking.

Do you believe they would have also complained if she'd said "we should all thank God that Canada is such a wonderful country" or something similar?  Do they similarly complain when some municipal Council starts their session with a prayer?

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

So theologians, by that assumption, avoid having to prove God exists, but hear them complain when someone says God doesn't exist. 

Except in this case there are a lot who aren't complaining, and who in fact have said she is right. And some of those who are complaining aren't doing it on religious grounds at all, but because they think the GG shouldn't be saying things that challenge people's ways of thinking.

And personally I think doing exercises that identify unhealthy ways of thinking and harmful associations and help you let go of them is  actually a useful thing. You just don't have to buy into the notion that they come from demons, or that you got them on another planet. Not all religions do that either.

The only people I have heard saying she was right were specific in saying she was right to defend climate change and evolution, not that she was right to mock people who believe evolution is a result of divine intervention. 

I also haven't come across anyone objecting to her saying things that challenge people's ways of thinking. Could you be more specific?

6079_Smith_W

@ Magoo

No, I don't think as many would have complained because references to god aren't as threatening to as many people. We are used to hearing that stuff every time they play the anthem.

But a lot of the reaction has been because some think the GG should not say anything that threatens anyone. It isn't just religious people getting twitchy.

And Pondering, whether one wants to split hairs about what is being said in this thread, this editorialist said quite clearly she doesn't think Payette should be challenging people's opinions on climate change or medicine. Or even horoscopes.

So no, it isn't just about religion, even if one is inclined to read an attack on religion into her comment about evolution.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/governor-general-speech-julie-payette-cli...

 

 

 

Pogo Pogo's picture
6079_Smith_W

Though there was a recommendation to fire her, her case is still up in the air. Not surprising, because her congregation wants her to stay:

http://www.westhill.net/blog/2016/9/8/gretta-found-unsuitable-for-minist...

Odd because when J.S. Woodsworth tried to quit the Methodist Church 100 years ago because he did not believe in the divinity of Jesus they didn't accept his resignation.

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/19/wesleycollege.shtml

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Sooo.... I made a film about this, among other things.... Gretta is one of our contributors.

https://vimeo.com/218713371

https://vimeo.com/218713661

www.losingourreligion.ca

6079_Smith_W

Neat! I will keep an eye out for it. In that article I posted Woodsworth said around 1920 that most clergy he knew were perjuring themselves when they took their vows recognizing god, and jesus as saviour. He also said that the question of god was actually irrelevent when it came to being of service to the community, which is why he continued with the church.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I agree with him! Even after eschewing faith in god, these ministers are still very much ministers - they minister to their congregations, want to do good in the world, find ways to promote love, inclusivity and compassion. I've never met a kinder group of people. And the secular communities - including Westhill United - were a hoot.

I also got to interview Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins. :) I actually have some dispute with your take on Dawkins, but don't have time to get into it just now. I just popped in for a quick peek.

Also - film aired on documentary channel in October and may be accessible via their website.

6079_Smith_W

No worries. I know there are plenty who like his take on things, and also not to get into it right now, but I think his C of E background explains a lot about his attitude. After all, the anglo protestants invented the condescending attitude toward superstitious cults, starting with the catholics. Bertrand Russell at one point even referred to protestants as half-atheist. I think they just never expected it would come around and bite them too, or that they would be eclipsed by the evangelicals.

I will definitely look out for the documentary.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 

And Pondering, whether one wants to split hairs about what is being said in this thread, this editorialist said quite clearly she doesn't think Payette should be challenging people's opinions on climate change or medicine. Or even horoscopes.

">http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/governor-general-speech-julie-payette-cli...

That's not true. She said no such thing which is why you couldn't quote her. Unless you think the sole way to promote science or disagree with people is to deride them. From the article:

Nevertheless, if Payette is going to weigh in on these issues — and it's somewhat expected that she will, being an engineer and an astronaut and all — there is a proper way to do so. 

She expects Payette will weight in on these topics. 

Instead, Payette essentially mocked people for believing in horoscopes, alternative medicine, divine intervention and for not believing in climate change, incredulous that some Canadians would hold those views "still today in learned society."

The objection is the mocking tone she used. That is not splitting hairs.

It is a strawman argument to suggest people are complaining about her defence of the science of climate change and evolution.  That is not the issue. 

Pondering

Why? Was she mocking people who believe in God? 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Instead, Payette essentially mocked people for believing in horoscopes

I wonder if there are any major religions that treat horoscopes respectfully, and acknowledge that "Saturn in Venus rising" is as important as Jesus giving his life for our sins?

Know of any?

cco

So many hearts aflutter about "derision" and "mocking". I wonder if Andrew Scheer is prepared to denounce Psalm 14, acknowledge that millions of Canadains believe science has demonstrated truth, and apologize on behalf of Christianity. I won't be holding my breath.

Pondering

cco wrote:
 So many hearts aflutter about "derision" and "mocking". I wonder if Andrew Scheer is prepared to denounce Psalm 14, acknowledge that millions of Canadains believe science has demonstrated truth, and apologize on behalf of Christianity. I won't be holding my breath.

You can aspire to be like Andrew Scheer I sure won't and I certainly expect better from our Governor General than someone who behaves like Andrew Scheer.  

6079_Smith_W

 

Gee Pondering. You have been on about her insulting religious people over belief in god, and just said you have only heard people are supporting her position on climate change. You said nothing about also thinking she was insulting climate change deniers until I find an editorial to that effect.

As for what Urback actually was saying, she spends three paragraphs laying out why the GG should say nothing to challenge anyone, or take any position at all. She says the idea has merit, and that the government should ideally be "indifferent" to the GG.

Only after that does she, somewhat grudgingly, say that it is expected Payette is going to say something, being a scientist. So no, it isn't just about Urback deciding to take offense at some completely reasonable statements. She would be just fine with Payette shutting up altogether except to read the throne speech.

Considering 98 percent of published scientists recognize climate change, saying that it is hard to believe there is a debate in learned society is a completely reasonable statement.

Actually the splitting hairs I was talking about is comments on here, including your one that she should only say things she can prove. 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Instead, Payette essentially mocked people for believing in horoscopes

I wonder if there are any major religions that treat horoscopes respectfully, and acknowledge that "Saturn in Venus rising" is as important as Jesus giving his life for our sins? 

I doubt it and I certainly don't respect astrology but I don't treat people who do believe in it rudely. What is appropriate for our Governor General to say is different from what is appropriate for religious leaders or private citizens to say. Had she said it at a private dinner party with friends, even if it were reported, it would be a non-issue. 

It is an issue solely because she mocked Canadians in her position as the Governor General of Canada. 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Gee Pondering. You have been on about her insulting religious people over belief in god, and just said you have only heard people are supporting her position on climate change. You said nothing about also thinking she was insulting climate change deniers until I find an editorial to that effect.

I said she shouldn't be mocking anyone for anything including astrology. That includes climate change deniers. I don't know what editorial you are referring to unless you mean Urbeck

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 As for what Urback actually was saying, she spends three paragraphs laying out why the GG should say nothing to challenge anyone, or take any position at all. She says the idea has merit, and that the government should ideally be "indifferent" to the GG.

You paraphrase to twist her words. 

For that reason, some will argue that the Governor General should never weigh in on topics that are even remotely political. They argue that while some people have decided that, for example, the science is settled on climate change, the very fact that debate still exists on the topic should preclude the Governor General from inserting herself in the conversation, lest she appear to be of a certain allegiance.

There is some merit to that position.

After which she goes on to say that it is somewhat expected that Payette will comment on these issues. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 She would be just fine with Payette shutting up altogether except to read the throne speech.

Did you complain when the previous GGs didn't comment on climate change and evolution? Personally I was fine with it. I think it's a good thing that Payette wants to speak on this issue but if she didn't I wouldn't fault her for it. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Considering 98 percent of published scientists recognize climate change, saying that it is hard to believe there is a debate in learned society is a completely reasonable statement.

Agreed. The tone and the eye rolling was not reasonable for a Governor General giving a speech. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Actually the splitting hairs I was talking about is comments on here, including your one that she should only say things she can prove.

Scientists should only state things as fact that they can prove because that is the foundation of respect for science. I believe in evolution because I was taught in school about how scientists arrive at their conclusions and how those conclusions are tested by other scientists. 

Payette didn't simply "state facts" as some of her defenders have insisted. (In any case, stating a fact can still be perceived as making a political statement; had Payette flippantly dismissed traditional Indigenous healing methods instead of cancer patients taking sugar pills, I doubt she'd be afforded the defences she's currently enjoying from many observers.) Rather, she appeared to deride people for their beliefs.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Actually, Zeus was not the Creator. Quite a lot happened in Greek mythology before Zeus came along. Ouranos (sky) and Gaia (earth) bred the Titans, who had to be cast into Tartaros (the hell below Hades) in order for the "current" mythological order to come into being.

Greco-Roman mythology does not obsess over creation myth as is found in modern Abrahamic religion and science. There is a general sense that the Universe was always there. This "steady state" was the scientific consensus until Edwin Hubble and Alexander Friedman proposed that the Universe was expanding, which meant that it was a process which started some 13-14 billion years ago.

Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

I doubt it and I certainly don't respect astrology but I don't treat people who do believe in it rudely.

This is interesting, because this statement does exactly what Payette's does. That is, it calls an idea wrong. Payette didn't treat anyone rudely. She said the idea of 'divine intervention' was incorrect. 

​In the above statement, Pondering, you ridicule horoscopes at the same time as you say you don't treat horoscope believers rudely. But if some horoscope believer read your comment, they could very well be offended by it.

Rev Pesky

To 6079_Smith_W:

A thank you for making comments on Richard Dawkins and his book, 'The God Delusion'. I had read it in the past, but it was some years ago. Having forgotten much of it, your comment drove me to the library, where all copies were out, and then to my favourite used book store, where there was a copy.

In the intervening years, I had forgotten what a brilliant book it was. I would recommend that you read it, and I would recommend that anyone interested in this topic read it.

And contra your two claims, one, that it lacked scholarship, and two, that Dawkins said religous belief was based on fear, (both of which are ludicrous), 'The God Delusion' spends a good portion of the book examining the theological arguments and the various religious impulses.

It also shows the benefits of abandoning religious belief, in favour of realism.

A great book, still much in demand 11 years after publication.

6079_Smith_W

Surely must realize that I have, in fact, read it. Some years back. Otherwise why would I be talking about it? I have also read The Selfish Gene. One of his works I actually enjoy as a resource - The Ancestor's Tale - is on my bookshelf.

As a matter of fact my son went out and bought a copy of The God Delusion in the last six months. I have declined to try and poison his mind about it. He can figure out his own opinion on it, and Dawkins.

My biggest problem isn't that he is critical of organized religion and blind religious faith. I am deeply critical of it myself. My problem is that he is so utterly tone deaf. My biggest feeling reading it was how much better a job could have been done had he been less interested in demonizing and more interested in understanding his subject matter. You might disagree. I know plenty love that book.

 

cco

Tone policing continues to apply only to nonbelievers, who are under an obligation to deeply respect religion, while no one would even think of asking religion to deeply respect nonbelievers. Dawkins's work (which I'm pretty sure wasn't written with the goal of getting devout types to read it and say "Wow, I've been wrong all along!") is held up against an imaginary "nicer" version, which surely religious types would accept as a legitimate intervention into the debate.

This, to me, seems ignorant of the history of religion. There's never been a nice enough way to say "This is why I'm an atheist." Note that blasphemy laws contain no exemption for the blasphemy that's kindly phrased. Religion's problem with atheists isn't our tone. It's our existence.

Pondering

cco wrote:
 Tone policing continues to apply only to nonbelievers, who are under an obligation to deeply respect religion, while no one would even think of asking religion to deeply respect nonbelievers.

If the GG were religious and had mocked atheists I would have just as much of a problem with it. I was extremely offended when Harper ended a speech with "God Bless". It made me cringe. I am guessing I was not alone as it never happened again. 

If Julie Payette were merely a famous astronaut/scientist I would be fine with what she said including the eye roll. I even sympathize because I have a hard time not rolling my eyes. I don't have any problem at all with people in general being disrespectful of religion or of religious people as long as it doesn't stray into hate speech. 

Government officials, especially the Governor General above all others, should not be mocking Islam, or atheism, or Christianity, or indigenous beliefs, or gay people, or trans people, or feminists, or environmentalists, or anyone else. 

6079_Smith_W

I am atheist cco.

In case it isn't clear, my biggest criticism of Dawkins's work isn't that it is impolite (that's for those who are offended by our governor general telling it like it is) but that it is so dumb.

 

cco

I know you are. That's why I sometimes find these conversations so frustrating. You grew up with the luxury of being able to be publicly atheist. Where I grew up, it's against the state constitution for me to hold public office. Where my wife grew up, atheism is a criminal offense. The freedom not to be religious is extremely important to me. It's more important than the desire of the overwhelming religious majority to live in a country without atheists. Payette's the only public figure in my entire time in Canada to be openly atheist, and the usual suspects are jumping all over her. I'm firmly anti-monarchist, and yet she's put me in the position of siding with Rideau Hall against my own party. Being told I'm disrespecting the religious people who've spent their lives calling for me to be tortured is the least of my concerns.

6079_Smith_W

You know the thing about living in a place with more freedoms; it means you have more freedoms. That means I have the freedom to hold my own opinion about someone else's ideas. It also means no one is forcing you to support the monarchy. You don't have to agree with her political position to defend her saying the right thing. In fact some of those criticizing her are doing so because of how they see the role of the queen's representative.

Really, this is about people getting their noses out of joint about her comments, for several reasons, and considering that she has the prime minister solidly behind her, it is really petty nonsense.

Stéphane Dion and Gilles Duceppe don't get hounded for their atheism, after all.

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

You know the thing about living in a place with more freedoms; it means you have more freedoms. That means I have the freedom to hold my own opinion about someone else's ideas.


Yes, you have the freedom, as an atheist, to feel that it's rude for me, and Julie Payette, to be atheist. Similarly, I have the freedom (for the moment) to be atheist, no matter how many people are offended by that.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It also means no one is forcing you to support the monarchy. You don't have to agree with her political position to defend her saying the right thing. In fact some of those criticizing her are doing so because of how they see the role of the queen's representative.

I agree. My disgust is with the NDP, not Rideau Hall, in this case. After all my years in Canada, I've reluctantly come to realize that no political party will ever speak up for the rights of nonbelievers.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Stéphane Dion and Gilles Duceppe don't get hounded for their atheism, after all.

Has either publicly spoken in favour of atheism, as Payette (by implication, really) has? Until I read your post and Googled it (and this is something I pay attention to), I'd been under the impression both were Mulcair-style genuflecting-twice-a-year Catholics -- just as they know they must appear to be. Out of respect, y'know.

WWWTT

Ok I’m going to make a comment in this thread without reading any comments since I last contributed because I just don’t have the time. Sorry 

So here’s another point I have to throw out here. From my experience/perspective/knowledge, humans have this arrogant attitude that we know it all! I’ve had this attitude as well from time to time and maybe I’m displaying it right now? Humans also think that we’re the most intelligent life form on the earth. This in my opinion is very wrong. When I watched Payettes speech over, I got this sense from her that she believes she’s one of these humans that thinks her brain is so big. Nothing humble at all in her speech. 

In fact, I believe that humans lack the intelligence capacity to fully understand the universe. After all ALL our ancestors believed in religion gods tooth fairies and Santa Claus. And what, in less than 100-200 years we all of a sudden evolved into a race of super intelligence all powerful merciful people’s spewing an affectionate pity for those in the human race who have not evolved yet???? Ya if don’t think so. If we had the capacity to understand the vast complexity of the universe I think we would know what gravity is instead of just having a theory. 

Now what I believe is not anyone’s else’s business really. I myself believe in god. But what I believe god is is actually not a life form that is currently scientifically recognized as a life form. I personally believe god is the planet we live on and the sun. After all the earth gives us life, doesn’t it? The point in me sharing my belief  is to show that there are many logical beliefs among humans. Different perspectives. I like hearing reading other different views, that’s why I’m here on rabble on also read other forums. 

Unlike the GG I wouldn’t belittle another persons belief even if their belief in something is a futile belief. To me that’s a closed mind

Pondering

cco wrote:

cco wrote:
You grew up with the luxury of being able to be publicly atheist. Where I grew up, it's against the state constitution for me to hold public office. Where my wife grew up, atheism is a criminal offense.   

That's not Canada. In Canada people are free to be publically atheists.

cco wrote:
​It's more important than the desire of the overwhelming religious majority to live in a country without atheists.  

Again you are talking about some other country. In this country a politician is more likely to get in trouble for being too religious not for being atheist. 

cco wrote:
Being told I'm disrespecting the religious people who've spent their lives calling for me to be tortured is the least of my concerns. 

I don't believe Canadians, religious or otherwise, have been spending their lives calling for you to be tortured. I'm pretty sure in Canada that constitutes a hate crime.

It isn't tolerance for diversity to choose a different set of people to be prejudiced against. People in Canada are free to be Muslims, Christians, Astrologists, Witches, Atheists, Agnostics, Rastafarians, Mormons, Jews, or any other faith. 

Like the Queen, the GG is supposed to stay out of politics. The GG is head of state which is largely a ceremonial position even though technically it holds a lot of power. Ironically, if it ever exercised that power counter to the will of Canadians the position would be jeopardized. Many people agree we shouldn't have a GG but in practice it would be so difficult to change the system that it just isn't worth it because it is a ceremonial role. In practice the GG acts as an ambassador both within Canada and abroad. That's the job. 

 

Pondering

cco wrote:

cco wrote:
You grew up with the luxury of being able to be publicly atheist. Where I grew up, it's against the state constitution for me to hold public office. Where my wife grew up, atheism is a criminal offense.   

That's not Canada. In Canada people are free to be publicly atheists.

cco wrote:
​It's more important than the desire of the overwhelming religious majority to live in a country without atheists.  

Again you are talking about some other country. In this country a politician is more likely to get in trouble for being too religious not for being atheist. 

cco wrote:
Being told I'm disrespecting the religious people who've spent their lives calling for me to be tortured is the least of my concerns. 

I don't believe Canadians, religious or otherwise, have been spending their lives calling for you to be tortured. I'm pretty sure in Canada that constitutes a hate crime.

It isn't tolerance for diversity to choose a different set of people to be prejudiced against. People in Canada are free to be Muslims, Christians, Astrologists, Witches, Atheists, Agnostics, Rastafarians, Mormons, Jews, or any other faith. 

Like the Queen, the GG is supposed to stay out of politics. The GG is head of state which is largely a ceremonial position even though technically it holds a lot of power. Ironically, if it ever exercised that power counter to the will of Canadians the position would be jeopardized. Many people agree we shouldn't have a GG but in practice it would be so difficult to change the system that it just isn't worth it because it is a ceremonial role. In practice the GG acts as an ambassador both within Canada and abroad. That's the job. 

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Like the Queen, the GG is supposed to stay out of politics. The GG is head of state which is largely a ceremonial position even though technically it holds a lot of power. Ironically, if it ever exercised that power counter to the will of Canadians the position would be jeopardized. Many people agree we shouldn't have a GG but in practice it would be so difficult to change the system that it just isn't worth it because it is a ceremonial role. In practice the GG acts as an ambassador both within Canada and abroad. That's the job. 

The Queen has often expressed strong support for Christianity and for Jesus in particular. Most people don't mind that she hasn't remained neutral about her religious beliefs.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 In fact some of those criticizing her are doing so because of how they see the role of the queen's representative. 

It's more about what her job entails in Canada rather than the "queen's representative" angle other than they serve a similar ceremonial function. Canada's GG is appointed by the Prime Minister but the GGs salary and benefits are paid for by Canadians. Part of the job of being a receptionist is being polite. Part of the job of the GG is being polite. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Really, this is about people getting their noses out of joint about her comments, for several reasons, and considering that she has the prime minister solidly behind her, it is really petty nonsense. 

No it isn't, which is why you have so much trouble quoting to back up your criticisms. The PM, like many pundits and people here are using strawman arguments and vagueness to avoid the actual criticism. I wasn't aware you were such a strong Trudeau supporter. Or is it the office of the Prime Minister you have such reverence for? 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Stéphane Dion and Gilles Duceppe don't get hounded for their atheism, after all.

Are you seriously inferring that Payette is being "hounded" for being an atheist? 

6079_Smith_W

cco.

I don't think you are rude to be an atheist. I don't think Payette is rude either (I don't know if she has ever said she is atheist). I said nothing like that about you at all.

As for getting upset about atheist politicians NOT promoting atheist issues? Well I should think it enough that they are promoting secularism and freedom of belief and from discrimination. Promoting their own world view isn't really a political issue, so beyond mentioning it in public (which they have) I am not sure how it has anything to do with their work.

And Pondering. Did I say Payette was hounded for being an atheist? I just said that I haven't even heard her declare she is one, so I'm not sure how that would happen.

 

 

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