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Is "Belief in a Supreme Being" an Actual Rule by Now?

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Oh I know Packsaddle, they are a little bit of everything some having some ties to the faith they grew up in, but disliking something about it, homosexuals that have been rejected by their faith, people who have unique ideas but perhaps do not consider themselves from any formal religious background.. But, there are also atheists among them who just enjoy the community.

 

(I think I saw an antennae rising out of the back of the head of one of them the other day.)

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But the historical foundation of the UUs goes back to the Council of Nicea whereupon their ancestors in faith rejected the Trinity.

 

I made roughly the same comment about Jehovah's Witnesses once, and a friend replied "How dare you demean one of the greatest heresies of Christendom!

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But the historical foundation of the UUs goes back to the Council of Nicea whereupon their ancestors in faith rejected the Trinity.

 

I made roughly the same comment about Jehovah's Witnesses once, and a friend replied "How dare you demean one of the greatest heresies of Christendom!

Well, they got the 'heresy' part right at least, lol. No intent to demean anything in that. Actually, I admire their pluck.

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Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

All of those are religions. At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion, as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above). He also saw, read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.

I had a discussion with someone from regional a few months ago, and he said that according to national, the only thing that matters is the label. If someone self identifies as an Atheist, they are not eligible. If someone with identical beliefs calls themselves something else, they are good. He says it's because so many people get hung up on the word "Atheist". So yes, it is stupid.

And people do get hung up on the word. To many people, it is a very negative word and they have a strong emotional reaction to it. When they here the word "Atheist", they think of "those Atheists" that don't believe in anything, think anyone with religion is a fool or idiot, that will take any opportunity to be obnoxious about it, etc. (While I have met in passing a couple of Atheists that can be obnoxious about it, I don't think I have ever met one that fits the "doesn't believe anything" description). So they assume that anyone that self identifies as an "Atheist" is claiming all the listeners baggage too. That's why you get all the: "I don't consider those people atheists..." kind of discussions when Duty to God is discussed (see the above WOSM link).

It may be stupid, but then again how stupid does anyone have to be to push it. You don't get honey by kicking the beehive.

 

It isn't clear from your comment what the relevance is for your mention that Trevorum is a member of the UUA. What's that all about?

It's perfectly clear from the context of the conversation: Rick claimed that Wise was in "the same position" as atheistic Unitarians as if perhaps it was his Unitarianism which caused him trouble Trevorum is a Unitarian on the national religious committee, so clearly that's not the issue. Wise's situation was unique to Wise as outlined in my reply to Rick at the top of this post.

 

@Scouter99' date=' I noted the derisive tone you employed in your use of the phrase 'you Greenbar fanboys'. Could you elaborate on what your intent was in that? Was it intended to imply that 'you Greenbar fanboys' are hypocritical for some reason? Please explain.[/quote']

It boils down to why we're here and why we're Scouters. BD put it better and more succinctly than I could, so I'll refer to him:

So the BSA currently has a black eye......You are helping this fellow blacken the other one....... give it a rest for cryin out loud.....

And take his wise lead on excusing myself from this flagellation party.

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Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

All of those are religions. At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion, as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above). He also saw, read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.

I had a discussion with someone from regional a few months ago, and he said that according to national, the only thing that matters is the label. If someone self identifies as an Atheist, they are not eligible. If someone with identical beliefs calls themselves something else, they are good. He says it's because so many people get hung up on the word "Atheist". So yes, it is stupid.

And people do get hung up on the word. To many people, it is a very negative word and they have a strong emotional reaction to it. When they here the word "Atheist", they think of "those Atheists" that don't believe in anything, think anyone with religion is a fool or idiot, that will take any opportunity to be obnoxious about it, etc. (While I have met in passing a couple of Atheists that can be obnoxious about it, I don't think I have ever met one that fits the "doesn't believe anything" description). So they assume that anyone that self identifies as an "Atheist" is claiming all the listeners baggage too. That's why you get all the: "I don't consider those people atheists..." kind of discussions when Duty to God is discussed (see the above WOSM link).

It may be stupid, but then again how stupid does anyone have to be to push it. You don't get honey by kicking the beehive.

 

It isn't clear from your comment what the relevance is for your mention that Trevorum is a member of the UUA. What's that all about?

It's perfectly clear from the context of the conversation: Rick claimed that Wise was in "the same position" as atheistic Unitarians as if perhaps it was his Unitarianism which caused him trouble Trevorum is a Unitarian on the national religious committee, so clearly that's not the issue. Wise's situation was unique to Wise as outlined in my reply to Rick at the top of this post.

 

@Scouter99' date=' I noted the derisive tone you employed in your use of the phrase 'you Greenbar fanboys'. Could you elaborate on what your intent was in that? Was it intended to imply that 'you Greenbar fanboys' are hypocritical for some reason? Please explain.[/quote']

It boils down to why we're here and why we're Scouters. BD put it better and more succinctly than I could, so I'll refer to him:

So the BSA currently has a black eye......You are helping this fellow blacken the other one....... give it a rest for cryin out loud.....

And take his wise lead on excusing myself from this flagellation party.

I got the "empty response" error on this post, but I can see it, so I'm assuming you all can as well.

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At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion' date=' as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above).[/quote']

And just exactly where in officially published BSA religious policy are those required? And while you're at it, what is the officially published BSA policy on defining or interpreting either "God" or religion?

 

For that matter, just exactly what in officially published BSA policy would require the expulsion of an atheist? Please be specific and quote the applicable publication. Please remember that a "rule" requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" did not exist in the 1990's, as testified to in court by the Orange County Council's Exec. But then the question I am pursuing here is whether such a rule has been added to officially published BSA policy. Though that would raise the question of how such a rule could possibly be squared with the rest of officially published BSA religious policy.

He also saw' date=' read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.[/quote']

Please read what I actually wrote. I read the DRP and, based on officially published BSA policy, found that I was in agreement with it. I would not have signed the application if I did not agree with the DRP, because that would have been dishonest. I still agree with it. Rather, it is BSA that does not agree with it.

 

 

So the question still stands about the current status of "belief in a Supreme Being." Does such a rule exist? Or, like in the 1990's, does BSA continue to appeal to a "rule" that does not exist?

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... DWise refers to himself as an "atheist" which is understood to preclude belief in God. ... BSA has magnanimously and reasonably taken a stance that allows for the widest interpretation of "duty to god" to the inclusion even of philosophical belief systems that don't have a god, like Buddhism; it's bad form to turn that around on BSA and try to use it against them.

 

Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

Jews have a God; Wiccans have both a God and Goddess. Jews are theist not atheist; Wiccans are polytheist not atheist.

I'm not sure where you are getting your information.

 

I get my information from actual Jews like e.g. http://baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com Atheist Wiccans are a bit more controversial with some people saying yes, there can be, and others saying no: http://www.witchschool.com/forum/topics/can-you-be-an-atheist-wiccan

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Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

All of those are religions. At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion, as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above). He also saw, read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.

I had a discussion with someone from regional a few months ago, and he said that according to national, the only thing that matters is the label. If someone self identifies as an Atheist, they are not eligible. If someone with identical beliefs calls themselves something else, they are good. He says it's because so many people get hung up on the word "Atheist". So yes, it is stupid.

And people do get hung up on the word. To many people, it is a very negative word and they have a strong emotional reaction to it. When they here the word "Atheist", they think of "those Atheists" that don't believe in anything, think anyone with religion is a fool or idiot, that will take any opportunity to be obnoxious about it, etc. (While I have met in passing a couple of Atheists that can be obnoxious about it, I don't think I have ever met one that fits the "doesn't believe anything" description). So they assume that anyone that self identifies as an "Atheist" is claiming all the listeners baggage too. That's why you get all the: "I don't consider those people atheists..." kind of discussions when Duty to God is discussed (see the above WOSM link).

It may be stupid, but then again how stupid does anyone have to be to push it. You don't get honey by kicking the beehive.

 

It isn't clear from your comment what the relevance is for your mention that Trevorum is a member of the UUA. What's that all about?

It's perfectly clear from the context of the conversation: Rick claimed that Wise was in "the same position" as atheistic Unitarians as if perhaps it was his Unitarianism which caused him trouble Trevorum is a Unitarian on the national religious committee, so clearly that's not the issue. Wise's situation was unique to Wise as outlined in my reply to Rick at the top of this post.

 

@Scouter99' date=' I noted the derisive tone you employed in your use of the phrase 'you Greenbar fanboys'. Could you elaborate on what your intent was in that? Was it intended to imply that 'you Greenbar fanboys' are hypocritical for some reason? Please explain.[/quote']

It boils down to why we're here and why we're Scouters. BD put it better and more succinctly than I could, so I'll refer to him:

So the BSA currently has a black eye......You are helping this fellow blacken the other one....... give it a rest for cryin out loud.....

And take his wise lead on excusing myself from this flagellation party.

Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

All of those are religions. At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion, as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above). He also saw, read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.

 

Uh, so what? Where does the BSA state that you can be an atheist as long as you belong to a religion? Or where does the BSA state that all members have to belong to a religion? Sounds to me like you're just making up rules that don't exist.

 

It may be stupid, but then again how stupid does anyone have to be to push it. You don't get honey by kicking the beehive.

 

To unroll your metaphor, "kicking the beehive" = being honest about ones own religious views. Yeah, we can't have that...

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At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion' date=' as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above).[/quote']

And just exactly where in officially published BSA religious policy are those required? And while you're at it, what is the officially published BSA policy on defining or interpreting either "God" or religion?

 

For that matter, just exactly what in officially published BSA policy would require the expulsion of an atheist? Please be specific and quote the applicable publication. Please remember that a "rule" requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" did not exist in the 1990's, as testified to in court by the Orange County Council's Exec. But then the question I am pursuing here is whether such a rule has been added to officially published BSA policy. Though that would raise the question of how such a rule could possibly be squared with the rest of officially published BSA religious policy.

He also saw' date=' read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.[/quote']

Please read what I actually wrote. I read the DRP and, based on officially published BSA policy, found that I was in agreement with it. I would not have signed the application if I did not agree with the DRP, because that would have been dishonest. I still agree with it. Rather, it is BSA that does not agree with it.

 

 

So the question still stands about the current status of "belief in a Supreme Being." Does such a rule exist? Or, like in the 1990's, does BSA continue to appeal to a "rule" that does not exist?

So, you do believe in God?

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At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion' date=' as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above).[/quote']

And just exactly where in officially published BSA religious policy are those required? And while you're at it, what is the officially published BSA policy on defining or interpreting either "God" or religion?

 

For that matter, just exactly what in officially published BSA policy would require the expulsion of an atheist? Please be specific and quote the applicable publication. Please remember that a "rule" requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" did not exist in the 1990's, as testified to in court by the Orange County Council's Exec. But then the question I am pursuing here is whether such a rule has been added to officially published BSA policy. Though that would raise the question of how such a rule could possibly be squared with the rest of officially published BSA religious policy.

He also saw' date=' read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.[/quote']

Please read what I actually wrote. I read the DRP and, based on officially published BSA policy, found that I was in agreement with it. I would not have signed the application if I did not agree with the DRP, because that would have been dishonest. I still agree with it. Rather, it is BSA that does not agree with it.

 

 

So the question still stands about the current status of "belief in a Supreme Being." Does such a rule exist? Or, like in the 1990's, does BSA continue to appeal to a "rule" that does not exist?

Elsewhere while waiting for the server to come back up, I responded to qwazse having posted there about this question with:

 

You asked me if I "believe in God". In asking that, you ignore officially published BSA religious policy.

 

The 1991 Reaffirmation of the Position of the Boy Scouts of America on Duty to God clearly states that BSA does not intend to define what constitutes belief in God. The Advancement Guidelines RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES states that BSA "Does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion." It also clearly states that a member is to be judged according to the standards of his own religious tradition and that it's his own religious leaders who determine whether he's living up to their expectations. In 1985 and 1994, BSA National Director of Relationships Division unambiguously stated officially in writing that belief in a "Supreme Being" is not required, interpretation and definition of "Duty to God" is none of BSA's business but rather it's the business of the family and religious leaders, and that any Scout who can recite the Oath and Law in good conscience is welcome to participate.

 

So what exactly is your question? And how is it even relevent?

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At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion' date=' as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above).[/quote']

And just exactly where in officially published BSA religious policy are those required? And while you're at it, what is the officially published BSA policy on defining or interpreting either "God" or religion?

 

For that matter, just exactly what in officially published BSA policy would require the expulsion of an atheist? Please be specific and quote the applicable publication. Please remember that a "rule" requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" did not exist in the 1990's, as testified to in court by the Orange County Council's Exec. But then the question I am pursuing here is whether such a rule has been added to officially published BSA policy. Though that would raise the question of how such a rule could possibly be squared with the rest of officially published BSA religious policy.

He also saw' date=' read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.[/quote']

Please read what I actually wrote. I read the DRP and, based on officially published BSA policy, found that I was in agreement with it. I would not have signed the application if I did not agree with the DRP, because that would have been dishonest. I still agree with it. Rather, it is BSA that does not agree with it.

 

 

So the question still stands about the current status of "belief in a Supreme Being." Does such a rule exist? Or, like in the 1990's, does BSA continue to appeal to a "rule" that does not exist?

I was not asking for a definition. I was asking about your stance. Let me rephrase:

Do you have a duty to God?

Yes I do. I did throughout the events from 1989 to 1998 during which I was subjected to religious discrimination by BSA. My minister is recognized by officially published BSA policy to be the one to determine whether I do my Duty to God and he certified to BSA in writing that I do, but BSA chose to ignore both his letters both when he sent them and also each time I included them in my requests for review and my requests for status of my review, which dragged out for several years.

 

Of course, my Duty to God has nothing whatsoever to do with YHWH nor any other literal supernatural being, completely in accordance with my religious tradition (UU) and in accordance with officially published BSA religious policy.

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At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion' date=' as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above).[/quote']

And just exactly where in officially published BSA religious policy are those required? And while you're at it, what is the officially published BSA policy on defining or interpreting either "God" or religion?

 

For that matter, just exactly what in officially published BSA policy would require the expulsion of an atheist? Please be specific and quote the applicable publication. Please remember that a "rule" requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" did not exist in the 1990's, as testified to in court by the Orange County Council's Exec. But then the question I am pursuing here is whether such a rule has been added to officially published BSA policy. Though that would raise the question of how such a rule could possibly be squared with the rest of officially published BSA religious policy.

He also saw' date=' read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.[/quote']

Please read what I actually wrote. I read the DRP and, based on officially published BSA policy, found that I was in agreement with it. I would not have signed the application if I did not agree with the DRP, because that would have been dishonest. I still agree with it. Rather, it is BSA that does not agree with it.

 

 

So the question still stands about the current status of "belief in a Supreme Being." Does such a rule exist? Or, like in the 1990's, does BSA continue to appeal to a "rule" that does not exist?

I was not asking for a definition. I was asking about your stance. Let me rephrase:

Do you have a duty to God?

No, you were not asking for a definition, but rather I was. In your question, "So, you do believe in God?", what definition of "God" were you applying? What definition of "believe in God" were you applying? That is an extremely important question, because this entire issue revolves around BSA applying its own definition in complete opposition to its own rules that it does not and cannot define or interpret those terms. So if I were to have simply answered "yes" or "no", just exactly what was I saying "yes" or "no" to?

 

I assume that you are a theist and most likely some form of Christian; please correct me if that assumption is in error. Most if not all Christian definitions of "God" are that of a personal God, which is to say a literal supernatural being. The BSA non-rule's "Supreme Being" is likewise a personal God. But not all religion depends on believing in literal supernatural beings. Many religious and spiritual people can use "God" to describe impersonal things and forces, ideals, or even abstract ideas; eg, Nature, humanity as a whole, harmony, Ki. I am reminded of a line in one UU hymn: "Some call it 'God'; some call it 'evolution'." True, many non-theists (ie, those who do not believe in literal supernatural beings) would prefer to not use the actual word "God", considering it to be overloaded with unpleasant and unwanted baggage, but what they believe would still satisfy BSA's "absolutely nonsectarian" requirements. Buddhism is not at all theistic and can even be downright atheistic; the Buddha taught against believing in the gods, because that would only hold you back from gaining Enlightenment. But while some Buddhists will agree to being called atheists, many will not solely because "atheist" sounds too materialistic to them.

 

Theists believe in one or more of the gods. I am not a theist. I do not believe in the gods. I am an atheist and have been one for about half a century. And I am religious. I do have positive beliefs that entail what some non-theists would call "God" even though I would not be inclined to use that specific term. And I do do my "Duty to God" in accordance with my religious tradition.

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I'm always amazed at the mean spirited abuse others inflict on others by throwing around the word discrimination. It's not about clearly communicating. It's hate speech. BSA has always had a faith component.

 

Now we can debate if BSA should change that, but it's not discrimination any more than my neighbor discriminating against me when he doesn't want me entering his house without permission.

 

Personally, I think BSA should leave membership to the charter orgs because it's the only way to avoid the ugly interactions of people we've seen flood these threads for years.

Merlyn wrote (quoting Christopher Hitchens): "Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. The second challenge. Can anyone think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? "The second question is easy to answer, is it not? The first awaits a convincing reply."

 

Hitch's argument was a stupendously inane one, Merlyn, because it allowed him to move the goalposts to avoid having to deal with an answer.

 

Clearly, there are numerous ethical actions that can be made by a believer that an unbeliever would not be able to do without acting unethically, from his very own atheist perspective.

 

Offering praise and prayer to one's creator.

 

Offering one's life and vocation ad majorem Dei gloriam, to the greater glory of God.

 

Teaching one's daughter to pray.

 

Converting from a religion that one does not feel is consistent with God's teachings, to one that one feels is more consistent. (How would an atheist manage to do THAT?)

 

Tithing to the evangelical fund for one's religion.

 

And, I would argue, Horatio Spofford's composition of "It is Well With My Soul," after suffering what he suffered: http://www.bywayofbeauty.com/2012/01/could-atheist-have-written-it-is-well.html#more

 

An atheist could do none of those things, Merlyn. He could go through the motions for a presumed psychological benefit, but he would be a hypocrite in his own eyes, and thus, not be acting ethically.

 

When confronted with these common-sense responses, Hitch would usually respond angrily that they were not ethical actions, as prayer didn't work. So, he would move the goal posts to avoid the answer. Because if the whole world did not agree with Hitch and HIS definition of what is moral or ethical, then he didn't have to accept the answer.

 

It's a pointless argument for him to have made, not because his argument couldn't be answered, but because it was constructed in such a way that he could always redefine the argument to avoid losing. For one to accept that Hitch's formulation of proper ethical behavior was correct, one would have to accept that the 7% of the population that is atheist is the only subculture that has the correct definition of what is ethical or moral, which of course is preposterous. Obviously, because 100 people believe a thing and you don't doesn't necessarily make it true. Nor 1000, not 10,000, nor 100,000, nor even 1,000,000. But when 93% of the friggin' country believes something, Merlyn will have a very hard time making a case that everyone else is wrong but he and his tiny coterie of friends are right.

 

As Guy Consolmagno said, "If everyone else’s calculations come up with 7 and you get 700, then everyoneâ€â€including youâ€â€will agree on whose result you’re going to check first to look for the mistake. It is illogical to assume that you’re always smarter than everyone else (even if, alas, it’s an all-too-common techie failing)."

 

As Hitchens was trying to use a normative ethical argument rather than a descriptive ethical argument, he also overlooked the likelihood that even if one is incorrect in one's basic assumptions, one could still act ethically and morally. Even if the believers whose actions I cited as replies to Hitch's arguments are wrong and there is no God and prayer is inefficacious, they would still be acting ethically as they were doing what they thought was right and moral, and their actions would not harm those involved and would probably do some good - prayer has been shown to cause positive psychological changes within the believer, and (secular) studies have shown those who pray live lives with less depression, substance abuse, etc. So, these actions would necessarily be ethical and moral, even if the actors were wrong in their presumptions.

 

And this would have to be true, Merlyn, if atheists are capable of acting morally and ethically (as they can) even if their basic assumptions are false. Of course, if one really holds to a materialist conception of atheism, one would have to hold that there is no such thing as a truly objective set of values, and that free will is itself a false by-product of the random collision of atoms and the fulmination of chemical processes within the bags of chemical goo that we are, as Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett, argue. On this view, there is no such thing as an objective set of values that exist outside of societal norms, and so there is no such thing as an ethical or moral act - if one does not have free will, as Sam Harris claims, how can one be said to "act" ethically, Merlyn?

 

That's why Thomas Nagel's new book is causing such a meltdown in atheist circles - although an atheist himself, he recognizes materialism as a self-defeater for most of the atheist arguments. He doesn't have a good answer, but he's intellectually honest enough to recognize the problem and call out his fellow philosophers for their presumptions.

 

I met Hitchens twice, and for all his irascibility and (what I would consider) intellectually weak arguments, I liked him. I hope he's in a good place now. I give him credit for being a better writer than his neo-atheist cohort, and for being anti-abortion, as was his intellectual hero and fellow atheist George Orwell. No one is wrong all the time.

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Below is the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle

Article IX. Policies and Definitionsâ€â€From the Charter and Bylaws

Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.†The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

click23, you should read what you post. How could you have overlooked this:

The Boy Scouts of America' date=' therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.[/quote']

How could an "absolutely nonsectarian" organization impose sectarian requirements? In the interpretive statements in the Advancement Guidelines and in official statements from the Relationship Committee, BSA's official policy is to not define "God", "belief in God", or even "Duty to God", leaving all that to the home and the religious organization/tradition that the member is connected to, exactly as the DRP says.

 

The problem is that with its non-rule of "belief in a Supreme Being", which BSA uses to expel members, BSA is no longer "absolutely non-sectarian" and it directly violates its own officially published religious policy.

 

You might want to familiarize yourself with BSA's officially published policies. My question is whether those have changed since 1998. Do you have anything to contribute?

 

BTW, the DRP is nothing new. It existed when I first registered in 1989 and existed at the time when Unitarian Life Scout Paul Trout was expelled in 1985, later to be reinstated when CSE Ben Love rescinded their new "belief in a Supreme Being" wording as a mistake. Yes, he is the exact same CSE Ben Love who then reinstated that "mistake" and used it explicitly as the reason for expelling non-believers.

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At the time Mr. Wise's troubles began he was simply an atheist without any g/God or religion' date=' as he has explicitly written in his testimonial (now linked above).[/quote']

And just exactly where in officially published BSA religious policy are those required? And while you're at it, what is the officially published BSA policy on defining or interpreting either "God" or religion?

 

For that matter, just exactly what in officially published BSA policy would require the expulsion of an atheist? Please be specific and quote the applicable publication. Please remember that a "rule" requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" did not exist in the 1990's, as testified to in court by the Orange County Council's Exec. But then the question I am pursuing here is whether such a rule has been added to officially published BSA policy. Though that would raise the question of how such a rule could possibly be squared with the rest of officially published BSA religious policy.

He also saw' date=' read, and had misgivings about the DRP, but he signed on anyway.[/quote']

Please read what I actually wrote. I read the DRP and, based on officially published BSA policy, found that I was in agreement with it. I would not have signed the application if I did not agree with the DRP, because that would have been dishonest. I still agree with it. Rather, it is BSA that does not agree with it.

 

 

So the question still stands about the current status of "belief in a Supreme Being." Does such a rule exist? Or, like in the 1990's, does BSA continue to appeal to a "rule" that does not exist?

You've just gone to great lengths to say that "God" probably does not mean to you what it means to me. Well, take a number.

 

I did not ask if you believe in the definition that Christians have attributed to a very ancient word to great effect. What's wrong with just speaking English at face value?

 

If your assertion is that you revere something more elevated than anything else in the universe of things to revere, it seems you've arrived at the end of an ontological proof for God.

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