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 Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics

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PostSubject: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:47 pm

Quote :
IN a bid to woo Christian voters, US presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain were grilled by an evangelist.
The
so-called Forum on Faith took place at a mega-church in Orange County
and was the first time senators McCain and Obama have been on the same
stage in months.

The session was moderated by Rick Warren, pastor at the huge Saddleback Church, who questioned each candidate separately for an hour in front of 2000.
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(McCain)
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:49 pm

The bit I saw of McCain made me cringe. I thought this was awful stuff. Politics should not be mixing with this kind of thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:54 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
The bit I saw of McCain made me cringe. I thought this was awful stuff. Politics should not be mixing with this kind of thing.

I thought alot of it was cringeworthy. In fact I think that the interviewer - Rick Warren - is generally cringeworthy and misguided. Why should politics not be mixing with this kind of stuff. Presumably the interests of lobby groups such as farmers, teachers and other groups should be taken into account so why not faith based groups?
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:06 pm

johnfás wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
The bit I saw of McCain made me cringe. I thought this was awful stuff. Politics should not be mixing with this kind of thing.

I thought alot of it was cringeworthy. In fact I think that the interviewer - Rick Warren - is generally cringeworthy and misguided. Why should politics not be mixing with this kind of stuff. Presumably the interests of lobby groups such as farmers, teachers and other groups should be taken into account so why not faith based groups?

Good point johnfás, but I don't think they are the same thing. Asking a prospective president how God has touched his life or whatever is a long way from asking him about state taxes on sugarbeet.
Political beliefs and religious beliefs are not mingleable imo.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:13 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Good point johnfás, but I don't think they are the same thing. Asking a prospective president how God has touched his life or whatever is a long way from asking him about state taxes on sugarbeet.
Political beliefs and religious beliefs are not mingleable imo.

I perhaps cynically question the motives of the candidate's constant wooing of the various factions of Christianity in America. However, if Obama and McCain stand up and say we're both Christians, we have Christian morals and the Christian point of view is our guide, then I don't see any problem with that being publicly deconstructed by Christian people. Just as if Brian Cowen said that his absolute priority is education and he wants education and educators as the absolute focus of his administration, then I would expect him to receive a grilling from members of the ASTI and other such bodies. Similarly from the IFA if he said Agriculture and the interests of Agriculturalists were very important. That seems reasonable enough to me.

I disagree with you on political and religious beliefs not being mingleable. You would have to define politics and define religious beliefs and then give an explanation as to how they are not compatible. If one has a religious belief, leading to a moral belief, which they believe is important to the functioning of society - why should that belief be dichotomised from their political beliefs. It would seem to me that this is a bit like asking the Greens to forget about the environment because some people disagree with them or for Labour to forget the working class because the middle class can do better from tax cuts or for Sinn Féin to abandon republicanism in the event of the majority disagreeing with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:29 pm

Well I don't think a religious belief is a mandatory prerequisite to having a moral belief. There are many who appreciate the importance of morality in society without having any religious background.

Perhaps I don't think that religious beliefs can be rationalised, they are what they are, beliefs. Whereas political beliefs (policies) can be rationalised.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:36 pm

I didn't state that a religious belief was a mandatory prerequisite to having a moral belief. In fact religious belief is entirely incidental philosophically to the development of the moral viewpoint. However, the moral viewpoint does have a root and therefore I see no problem with the root of that point of view being discussed and deconstructed by the people who you declare you share that same root and belief system with. If I say that my core belief is that pesticides are important because I am an agriculturalist and that is what agriculturalists should think, surely my views should be examined by my fellow agriculturalists.

Political beliefs can not in many cases be rationalised, they are also simply beliefs. That is why perhaps the majority of the courses in my Political Science degree were described as Politically Philosophical in nature. Politics is mostly philosophy, not rationality. The notion that all people are deserving of a basic living standard or a good education can not necessarily be rationalised in all cases, though morally I would argue they are imperative. Slavery could be rationalised economically and it was for centuries, but thankfully the majority was persuaded that the practise was morally repugnant.

You can certainly rationalise policies out of political beliefs but you can do the same out of any type of belief including religious. That is, you can have the philosophical point of view that everyone is entitled to education and then you work out a rational argument as to how that is achieved. The starting point, that each person is entitled to education, is not however strictly rational - it is moral, ethical and philosophical.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:30 pm

johnfás wrote:
I didn't state that a religious belief was a mandatory prerequisite to having a moral belief. In fact religious belief is entirely incidental philosophically to the development of the moral viewpoint. However, the moral viewpoint does have a root and therefore I see no problem with the root of that point of view being discussed and deconstructed by the people who you declare you share that same root and belief system with. If I say that my core belief is that pesticides are important because I am an agriculturalist and that is what agriculturalists should think, surely my views should be examined by my fellow agriculturalists.
That belief could perhaps be called an opinion ? An opinion can be tested, researched, debated, weighed against other opinions, measured to some degree.
A real belief just exists, there are no tests or measurements applicable to it.
This is the difference I'm trying to get at.
So political beliefs I suppose are just testable opinions. I can't think of one that isn't testable.

So I would say that untestable opinions don't belong in politics.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:35 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
johnfás wrote:
I didn't state that a religious belief was a mandatory prerequisite to having a moral belief. In fact religious belief is entirely incidental philosophically to the development of the moral viewpoint. However, the moral viewpoint does have a root and therefore I see no problem with the root of that point of view being discussed and deconstructed by the people who you declare you share that same root and belief system with. If I say that my core belief is that pesticides are important because I am an agriculturalist and that is what agriculturalists should think, surely my views should be examined by my fellow agriculturalists.
That belief could perhaps be called an opinion ? An opinion can be tested, researched, debated, weighed against other opinions, measured to some degree.
A real belief just exists, there are no tests or measurements applicable to it.
This is the difference I'm trying to get at.
So political beliefs I suppose are just testable opinions. I can't think of one that isn't testable.

So I would say that untestable opinions don't belong in politics.

Even assuming the above, which I don't necessarily agree with, I would still disagree with you.

How can you test whether abortion is something which our State should allow? How can you test whether or not a murderer is deserving of 20 years in jail, 30 years in jail, life in jail or even the death penalty? How can you test whether or not slavery should exist or that women and men should have equal pay?

Each of the above, whilst there may be clear answers, are not scientifically testable in the manner that you describe. Each of these is an opinion, each of these can be countered. The precise moment when a foetus is capable of survival may become ascertainable, but this does not solve the abortion conundrum. There will still be equally valid arguments for and against. Yet despite this, our legislature must make law and propose amendment regarding the issues and this is the key point. Above anything else, anything which comes within the remit of lawmakers is most certainly within the remit of mainstream political discourse and actors with opinions on these laws and especially those effected by such laws are most certainly deserving of a hearing inside Leinster House.

The above is the case for a range of groups, including religious groups.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:53 pm

I accept there are no scientific test for some opinions, and yet they have to be legislated. So we have to rely on plebiscite, experience, historical lessons, moral outlook or plain common sense or whatever guidance tools are available. I don't consider God given guidance to be one of these tools. Many do, but I don't.

I also don't mean to say that everything requires a black and white scientific test.

Neither do I have a problem with religious groups lobbying politicians on issues of interest to them. But I do have a problem when they try to extract answers about whether they believe in the same thing or not. This is irrelevant and has no place in politics.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:10 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
But I do have a problem when they try to extract answers about whether they believe in the same thing or not. This is irrelevant and has no place in politics.

What about Gaelgóirs? The leaders of the two largest parties in this state both claim to be fully committed to the Irish language and have the ability to speak it well. Is it unreasonable for Irish speakers to challenge them on this commitment and to see whether they have the same commitment as them?

Let us put some perspective on this, it is McCain and Obama who are saying they are Christians and all that goes with it. It is they who are courting the religious lobby so what is the problem with the religious lobby groups analysing them. As you said, they are just another lobby.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and McCain share a stage - Talk Faith and Politics   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:53 pm

Why worry the real lobby groups are the vested interests and both these candidates serve basically the same masters. The ordinary voters are just canon fodder as it were. They tell them anything to get their vote and there is little real accountability until the next election.

Listening to them you have to ask what sort of person would go through this and prostitute themselves for a job.
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