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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Wednesday, September 5

Separation of Organizations (Moral Principles)

After attempting to describe the terms "church" and "state" yesterday, I found myself stuck with some questions...

How is a non-profit or social action group different from a church?
The major difference would be that the non-profit or social action group is likely limiting itself to a particular issue and isn't taking a stance on all issues or making proposals about how government should be run generally. Still, there may be some groups that have a wider ethical base.

How is a corporation different from a church?
It is oriented towards gaining money in exchange for goods and services. A church generally needs money and offers services although the exchange isn't direct and isn't the main goal. The money is a means to supporting the members in their ethical improvement - not an end in itself.

Are there other organizations that should be kept separate from state or church?
I think so although it might be useful sometimes to hire corporations to handle certain aspects of government.

Why would it be good to separate organizations who share common moral beliefs from being part of a government or state?
Maybe so. I wouldn't want the Sierra Club, say, to be in charge of government - or even of environmental policy. I would prefer individuals who were selected and who can be unselected. Then again, if the club could be "unselected" as a whole, then I suppose it could be workable. It might even work better since you'd have a group of people who, presumably, have worked together and might be able to implement their policies more effectively. Maybe a useful principle would be that any organizations that are a part of a government should be subject to being voted out. I don't know, though, it seems a little risky. Then again, there's nothing to keep a majority of one religion or organization from getting themselves elected and effectively running the government.

Is the humanist affirmation about separation of church and state meaning "government" with the term "state"?
Yes, I think so. I like my description of state and found it fun to create, but I'm sure it was the wrong meaning for the affirmation.

I found an interesting article on some of these topics:

http://atheism.about.com/od/churchstate101/a/freespeech.htm

So, now, what do I think of the separation of church and state?
Short answer: probably safer than allowing them to merge too much, jury is still out on how much priority it should have

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