May 8, 17 / Gem 16, 01 22:25 UTC

Re: No criticizm of any religion in asgardia should be tolerated.  

Criticizing things we believe are untrue or have negative avoidable impacts are how we move forward as a society.  Ruling out certain types of criticism is not only an attack on free speech, but it trains people not to question things.

It is a necessity to be critical of anything and everything - that's why we don't think the Sun orbits the Earth anymore.  We need to raise a future generation to be critical, to question things, and feel motivated to come up with solutions to problems.  No one is motivated by an inability to speak out.

May 9, 17 / Gem 17, 01 09:34 UTC

To bring a different perspective, I don't think 'criticism' is the issue so much as 'tolerance' is what is to be encouraged according to the Concept of Asgardia. No matter what we may personally think or feel about another persons personal choices, those choices make up that persons identity. If they live in society, without harming anyone, without breaking any law, participating and benefiting their communities, basically living their life without harming anyone else, what business is it of - for example: mine, to tell you what you can personally choose to believe or not as long as this unrestricted society has no issues with you? If what you choose to believe - or not - helps you be a better person and better my community, I for one am not going to say anything about it. Why would I? On the other hand, if what you choose to believe - or not- causes you to be a criminal, kill someone, harm someone, or hinder or harm my community in some way, then I am going to take issue with it, and have every right to. Its as simple as that. But lets be clear about one thing, my idea about your beliefs is not what should dictate what is good or bad, acceptable or not. Because at the end of the day, the general rule is a person is responsible for their actions. We should have a basic rule of law, tolerant of religious beliefs, but limited to harming or influencing others physically or mentally. 

  Last edited by:  Jewell Ledoux (Global Admin, Asgardian)  on May 9, 17 / Gem 17, 01 09:42 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

May 9, 17 / Gem 17, 01 23:38 UTC

@zahira - what you are explaining is a concept embodied in British law (and therefore most British colonies law)  known as the separation of church and state.

This concept allows that there are laws which define what is acceptable or not in society. These laws dictate what is to be penalised and are not supposed to reflect on personal lifestyles.  They are supposed to be general principles that ensure a society works and that people have a way to resolve debate concerning personal beliefs. That is, the law should be a neutral and unemotional arbiter.  Similarly, the accepted understanding within this separation of church and state, is that individuals participating in that society will reciprocate and not prosyletise their personal beliefs on the society. 

Unfortunately we have come to a situation in the current world where what is termed "tolerance" for beliefs means that those laws are able to be usurped because a person says "this is my belief so you can't penalise me".  I'm sure everyone thinks that reasoning is false however, at this point in our societies, it is difficult to tell people that something they are doing is unacceptable or outside the intent of the law when they couch it in terms of "personal belief".  We are now at a point where we become militant in prosyletising our beliefs and are actually inflicting them on other people by law. 

I am not for or against religion, or anyone's choice of lifestyle for that matter, I'm simply trying to show that while your thoughts are noble and essentially what all people would agree on, the creation of that attitude and motivation in a society is more complicated than simply stating that is what should happen.  A good example to explain this is the issue of "rights".  How many people who say "this is my right" stop to think that if I have a "right" to do or think something then the next person also has a "right" to think or do the exact opposite?  And if I don't want them to bother me then I shouldn't bother them? 

On the surface we might say we think these things but our society and history prove we don't actually believe or practice them.  The more someone says the opposite to our perceived "right" the more militant and aggressive we become. We become so emotionally involved with our beliefs and our "right" to our beliefs that we forget to analyse what other people are saying, admit the possibility that we might be mistaken (or need to change anything in our own life) and therefore take everything as a personal attack.  This gives us an excuse to become offended and therefore militant in our "right" to our personal beliefs.

An interesting aside to this is that we often get involved in discussions such as this one to prove how righteous our beliefs are by saying that we are so tolerant of everyone else's beliefs. We state things like "everyone has a right to their own personal beliefs" or "their personal beliefs are none of my business" as if this is some wonderful new thing, never before heard, that we are now proclaiming to the world for the good of all mankind. Actually in doing this we are simply trying to make ourselves look good and tolerant. Unfortunately reality and history prove that when it comes to other people's lifestyle choices coming into contact with our own lives we react very differently to these proclamations of righteousness (I include myself very much in this category).

Personally (*recognises the irony in the statement "personally" and put's tongue firmly in cheek*) I think we should forget bringing this up as an issue. Leave it alone and just shrug our shoulders at someone else's belief. There are laws which say don't kill, don't steal, don't hurt, etc etc, these are universally accepted as a good idea, anything outside of those laws is a non-issue. Anyone demanding recognition of their beliefs or of their championing of other peoples rights to personal beliefs is just looking for attention and for people to say how great and righteous they are.  Think about it.... these are supposed to be our personal, private beliefs.... go home and practice them in private and stop trying to politicise them and show off.

Also, be willing to accept criticism and the possibility that we may just have something incorrect in our beliefs. Don't be so self-righteous and bigoted that we think only our belief, opinion or righteous proclamation is right and that nothing can be improved in our approach and lives. Actually it could be possible that this is the key to solving the issue....opening our minds to the desire to change and improve our own beliefs and motivation, rather than making proclamations of how tolerant we are to other people's beliefs.  This would be very hard to dictate by legal document.

  Last edited by:  Paul Bellamy (Asgardian)  on May 9, 17 / Gem 17, 01 23:40 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

May 10, 17 / Gem 18, 01 11:15 UTC

As a practicing Christian, I disagree with this.  Without critism, people can, and historically have twisted the message of religions to incite violence.  For example, Christ said to love your neighbor and pray for those you persecute you.  Pope Innocent III said that it was perfectly fine to kill who he deemed the enemies of Christ and that it was a guaranteed ticket to Heaven.  Criticism has a way of keeping people like that in check before they can cause serious harm.  

May 10, 17 / Gem 18, 01 14:57 UTC

Actually I am expressing the concept of Asgardia which can be found under the title Legal and Policy Issues in Asgardia - found here

1. What about religion in Asgardia? Will there be an official religion?

As a new nation based on the philosophy of human freedom, Asgardia does not take a stance on its citizens personal beliefs and will not declare a specific religion as the official religion of Asgardia. Citizens of Asgardia shall be free to worship their religion of choice or none at all. Your freedom of belief is entirely your personal choice. Of course that choice must respect the choice of others in return.

May 10, 17 / Gem 18, 01 15:03 UTC

Actually I was referring to the Official Statement of Asgardia found under the title Legal and Policy Issues in Asgardia. No stance = no criticism, no issue, no problem with, no discussion. Your religion or lack of it, is your business, not the business of the community. It is yours, and yours alone, not to be forced or shared on/to anyone else. 

1. What about religion in Asgardia? Will there be an official religion?

As a new nation based on the philosophy of human freedom, Asgardia does not take a stance on its citizens personal beliefs and will not declare a specific religion as the official religion of Asgardia. Citizens of Asgardia shall be free to worship their religion of choice or none at all. Your freedom of belief is entirely your personal choice. Of course that choice must respect the choice of others in return.

May 11, 17 / Gem 19, 01 06:07 UTC

@Gladlin & @zahira - Without meaning any offense, you are not incorrect in your individual points however I think you may have missed the point.

I was speaking about our human tendency to try and show how good we are by proclaiming either our personal private beliefs or our great tolerance of everyone else's personal beliefs and our tendency to do it by having this type of conversation.  In our current society the conversation about being tolerant of other people's personal choices and beliefs has gone to an extreme where @zahira's description (which is definitely the acceptable stance) is now used as a weapon for people to get their way.

@Gladlin - I'm not criticising you personally, you are allowed to believe and think what you want, much of it I can probably learn from. Also, you do not have to agree with me, that's your choice and perfectly acceptable.  However I fail to see the need to have to state that you are "a practicing christian" (or any other personal belief) in the context of a discussion about not proselytising our personal beliefs on others.  Since you are a christian let me bring forward a poignant part of scripture  "..i'll show you my faith by my works". The whole letter from which that quote is taken is talking about practicing a way of life and not proclaiming how good we are by saying we are part of the church. I can think of many scriptures which encourage people to go about life helping and encouraging people and showing the " that abides within you.." by their lifestyle (ie. the way they are and how they live) not by what they proclaim about themselves.

Also I feel your example of pope innocent iii was not relevant or accurate.  I won't dispute that many of the edicts and actions of that pope iii  were not what I would call nice or even acceptable however I can assure you from his history that people criticising him did not have any effect on his policies or actions. In fact a short read of his history gives us an idea of what might have happened to anyone who even came close to criticising that bloke. 

@zahira - surely the goals of any worthwhile project transcend the need for the prominence of a participating individual's personal beliefs. Otherwise what is the point of the project and it ceases to be worthwhile.  Asgardia official put forward that statement because so many people were focusing on their own beliefs about religion being prominent and forgetting that the goals of asgardia in helping and protecting humanity far outweigh the need to placate a personal desire to be thought of as a good religious individual (I am not being nasty I am just openly stating the attitude our human nature leads us towards - myself included).  The actual position (which I have asked admin about specifically and received their answer) is that "you can have whatever belief you want in the privacy of your own home however there should be no public display or proselytising in any way within the societal bounds of asgardia".  This is speaking of an attitude which does not focus on personal beliefs but looks beyond them to the goals of the society. This is talking about people who can reconcile in their own life their own PRIVATE beliefs with the goals of the society and realise that personal beliefs are just that - personal.

Although it is a bit long winded what I am asking is, wouldn't it be a more beneficial use of these resources to stop worrying about whether our personal beliefs will be placated by asgardian society or whether someone else has a different belief to us?  Wouldn't it be better to work within the realisation that what is encompassed in the goals of Asgardia:

protection of humankind, protection of the earth, improvement in scientific endeavour for the betterment of humankind, global individual and group cooperation, improvement of human exploration, pushing towards human entry to space and the improvement of general living for humans, etc etc,

is actually christian and muslim and budhist and vegan and all the things that people want to say is good about their personal beliefs?

Surely this removes the need to have our personal beliefs validated and recognised. And surely it removes the need to have ourselves look righteous by publicly  proclaiming either our personal beliefs or our great tolerance for everyone else's beliefs.

May 11, 17 / Gem 19, 01 11:58 UTC

@bigred sorry, are you suggesting to make Asgardia goals a new personal belief on an higher "abstraction level" because joins most of religions?

as already stated, Asgardia is free from any religion belief, so I don't think this will be an official choice, and ,as you said, it will remain "personal".

My opinion is "good idea", althought this is a bit off-topic because the post referred to religious discriminations and not theology. For that matter I think that this has to be classified as "discrimination" like any other, because not only religion beliefs cause discrimination. I think it's wrong limiting this topic to religion, other topics are no less important.

May 14, 17 / Gem 22, 01 23:42 UTC

@soikiro - no soikiro I'm not suggesting anything like that.

I'm saying that every person feels their religion (and every other personal belief) has grand elements of helping,giving, protecting and ushering in peace for other people and the world. On reading the releases from admin it is clear what is encompassed in the stated goals of asgardia is exactly the same sentiment and vision as those grand elements....ergo, if it encompasses the goals of our personal belief system then it fits with our belief system and we don't have to spend time and resources arguing about getting recognition for our personal beliefs.  That is purely an exercise in trying to make ourselves look good.

Be clear and honest in our thinking.  If the concept, goals, vision and, therefore, project of Asgardia does not fit within our personal belief system then we should not be involved in the first place.  We should have investigated and understood the goals and motivation a long time prior to this point.  If the goals and vision do not fit with our personal beliefs and we remain involved then we are hypocrits and our personal beliefs are not as important to us as we pretend they are. So the question of "will asgardia recognise our own personal belief system" is moot.

Our personal belief system is exactly that - personal and private, so there is no need for asgardia (or anyone else) to recognise our personal beliefs. Consequently there is no need to proselytise our belief system on others by public display or demands for recognition.  Therefore it should not matter whether asgardia recognises any particular religion/personal belief or not. 

The real question each of us needs to answer is "do the stated goals and vision of asgardia fit within my personal beliefs?". If they don't then we should not be involved here.  If they do then we should not be worrying about this type of conversation because we believe and practice our own belief system and don't need anyone else's affirmation or support to practice it in our daily lives. I believe this is what we call maturity.

I'll go a step further and say if we need asgardia to recognise our own personal belief system before we become involved then we are vain attention seekers.  I'm pretty sure none of us likes people who show those traits in public so perhaps we should think a bit more before making an issue of asgardia recognising our own personal beliefs like religion, sexuality, food choices or whatever else we might personally believe in.

Have your own beliefs. Be people full of principle and practice those principles. Stick to them for as long as they are not proven incorrect. It is a proven fact that people who live by practicing a set of principles get things done. However don't look for other people or the state to affirm or support your beliefs and don't try to convince others they should change to your beliefs. I'm pretty sure you would not like them to try that on you.  Don't have vain public shows and proclamations of our belief system.  But most of all be ready and willing to listen to everything and to modify or add to our belief system when it is shown to be inadequate or inappropriate in any area.

May 17, 17 / Gem 25, 01 00:04 UTC

@zahira I agree 100% what you've written.

As I read through the topic that mainly there should be respect towards religions, is in my opinion totally wrong. Respect is earned and not requested and given to whom demands it only because the one has an imaginary friend. One can acknowledge a religion, nothing more and nothing less. 

@bigred, you've wrote "is actually christian and muslim and budhist and vegan and all the things that people want to say is good about their personal beliefs?"

To be vegan is not a religion but a lifestyle and a choice what you eat. The first two religions you've mentioned are something way different, Buddhism is not that radical nor aggressive trying to spread. For any religion that propagates an almighty being that is always watching and can destroy you anytime he wants if you do not obey his rules, is nothing else just a tool to keep the sheep in constant fear. That kind of behavior you see from people that want to get their way, "everyone has to behave the way I want because I can't control my emotions if someone doesn't have the same opinion as I have" ... read the title of the topic again. 

That's why religion has to be private and shouldn't be out in public. 

May 17, 17 / Gem 25, 01 12:05 UTC

Beliefs are not limited to religion. Vegan-ism is just as much a belief as any religion. Those folks at PETA are equally strong in their beliefs as any religion.  Atheism isn't a religion, it is a belief.

Because of this, the word 'religion' shouldn't be anywhere in policy. The word 'beliefs' should be used as it is more broadly applied and doesn't have the stigma attached to 'religion' with certain individuals, like atheists.


May 17, 17 / Gem 25, 01 20:57 UTC

As an agnostic athiest I usually keep my beleifs to myself unless necessary. For example, if someone tells me they saw a vision of jesus and were told to do something, I'm not going to go along with it, I'm going to point them to a doctor. If Muslims demand that all the meat in the cafeteria must be haram, I will speak up against it. If they simply request haram meats I will speak out against the people opposing that. If Christians get mad at people saying happy holidays, I will speak out against them. If someone gets mad because someone said "Merry Christmas" I will speak out against those people, because 2 wrongs dont make a right. If a fellow person from the atheist spectrum rags on other peoples religions for no good reason, I will speak out against it. If people are ragging on them, I will stand up for them. 

Religious tolerance is a thing that should be handled carefully. The restriction of criticizing them is way too dangerous, because that can be interpreted in many ways.