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Old 27th February 2009, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

Quote:
Sharpie44 said View Post
Well I'm not saying that the U.S is the only country out there but it was the first secular state. That all happened long before my family came over from Germany.
Actually no, India was well before the U.S., and Ira M. Lapidus writes about secularist states in the middle east during the middle ages in the book "The Separation of State and Religion in the Development of Early Islamic Society", International Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (4), p. 363-385.

Quote:
Sharpie44 said View Post
There are different opinions on religion within free masonry. We are all about free speech and free thought so it's to be expected. It's true that no Freemason can be an atheist but on the same note they can't be a radical fundamentalist as well. Deist seems to be popular within Freemasonry historically.
Whereas I do not disagree that Freemasonry has in the past, in various offshoots of the establishment, even supported and harbored atheistic thought, I do not see how atheism and freemasonry as it stands can 'co-exist', they are two seperate entities as defined by the requirement that Freemasons must believe in a god. Where does it say they cannot be a radical fundamentalist?

Sure you can try changing it, but you could say the same thing about any established society that currently excludes atheism from it, and is bound by having to have a belief in a Supreme Being.

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Sharpie44 said View Post
Some view scripture in the same way they view philosophy, dogma seems to be the big issue. Referencing Jefferson again he created his own bible that took the dogma out and only left the philosophy of Jesus. I could care less if he was the son of god what I care more about is what he said. If what he said holds no weight with ought him being the son of god is it really something we want to study. I don’t actually know if Socrates actually existed and I cretin he wasn’t the son of a deity but his Socratic method is still an amassing achievement.
We do have a bible opened during every meeting but I didn’t think that was against the law. If I’m going to defend your right to not believe then you better damn well respect my right to believe.
It's not against the law, and I don't care if you believe in a faery or not, or in the collated construct of 'jesus'.

I disagree however that freemasonry and atheism can 'co-exist', they can stand separate, but not together in the one space. They are diametrically opposed based on one requiring the belief in a Supreme Being.

If you mean co-exist on the planet, I presume so, but my atheism has no time for an organisation that is based on the requirement of their being a god, and having a religion.

Quote:
Sharpie44 said View Post
“Freemasonry is thus a supporter of religion." I don’t like that. I would prefer “Freemasonry is thus a supporter the freedom of religion.” Believe or not believe whatever you like just don’t tell others what they should believe.
that's great that you believe that, but freemasonry doesn't. 'Freedom to believe what you want, so long as you believe in a supreme being'

Quote:
Sharpie44 said View Post
I never said that Freemasonry is atheistic. It just secularist and not opposed to atheist. Not meaning to bring up America again but we have a long tradition of atheists supports here. (Not so much in our current government.) Susan b Anthony was a hard core militant atheist and a part of the founding of our country. It’s too bad Americans have forgotten that. Religion tends to pull the wool over some people’s eyes.
*shrug* I don't think atheism and freemasonry can co-exist if you define it in existing in the same space, due to the reasons mentioned, if that changes, and religion is removed from it, sure.

I would disagree that a group that requires religion as a basis of entry is secular in nature, as it disallows atheists from being members, and requires that it's members have religion.

I refer you to :

http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=secular

Noun

* S: (n) layman, layperson, secular (someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person)

Adjective

* S: (adj) secular (of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations)
* S: (adj) worldly, secular, temporal (characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world) "worldly goods and advancement"; "temporal possessions of the church"
* S: (adj) profane, secular (not concerned with or devoted to religion) "sacred and profane music"; "secular drama"; "secular architecture", "children being brought up in an entirely profane environment"
* S: (adj) secular (of or relating to clergy not bound by monastic vows) "the secular clergy"
* S: (adj) laic, lay, secular (characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy) "set his collar in laic rather than clerical position"; "the lay ministry"
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