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It's better to separate "belief" from "religion" in law
Mon Jan 9, 2017 2:32pm

Freedom of belief is inherent in human behavior. No one can be an expert in everything, so we fill in the gaps with guesses - "beliefs" if you will. These beliefs tend to be malleable, and are usually revised when better knowledge is acquired by the individual, assuming s/he is a reasonable, thinking, human being.

Freedom of religion however is not necessarily inherent nor right. It is the entrenching of a belief based on faith, whether it be right or wrong, and preserving it as a foundation for a social hierarchy. It tends to resist revision even when proved false, placing the preservation of the social hierarchy and its tenets above truth. Religion is a social glue, but also a social problem.

Religion provides a precedent for anyone to make false claims, for fraud and charlatanism to proliferate, for enemies to gain a foothold, for laws and politicians to suppress progress. Would it be acceptable to defend a religion that held that the Earth is flat, against all counter-arguments, evidence, and reason, just because a group of people claimed it was their faith? I don't think many would support that. But that is what "freedom of religion" is enabling.

Any country that has "freedom of religion" in their constitution is doomed to fall victim to any and more of the above societal ills.

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