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Secularism, Fundamentalism, and Democracies
Old 07-16-2016, 06:29 PM
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D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
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Default Secularism, Fundamentalism, and Democracies


This isn't actually a US issue, but it bears some analysis as to what separation of Church and State (or the lack of it means). My estimation of Turkey is the following:
  1. It's a Democracy
  2. Fundamentalists (often poorer) have outpaced Secularists (often richer) in offspring
  3. Erdogan is the rightfully elected head of state
  4. Erdogan is and has been rolling back freedoms
  5. Erdogan has been prosecuting those that insult him or his religion

To some extent, I view this coup attempt as inevitable because the mechanization of a democracy without sufficient safe-guards against majorities are prone to this.

I guess my question is this. Can a secular democracy respect the will of the people to move towards a more religious/autocratic state when ultimately that door doesn't swing both ways? Deposing theocracies require violence (if someone has a counterexample to this please share.. I just have no memory of one that didn't). Deposing democracies require an election. I'm not saying I supported this coup... I've just been thinking about the topic.

Last edited by D_Yeti_Esquire; 07-16-2016 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:46 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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it's fine for a democracy to have a religious bent, provided it doesn't go so far as to tip into a theocracy. ( so, for example, if it is the genuine will of the people for laws to be drawn up based on the principles behind sharia law, then that is fine, within limits ( to cut a long story short, no slavery, no oppression of women, and no oppression of other religions. Plus religious authorities should not have a formal part in the political process- they can lobby, but they should not be able to veto either bills or candidates)

as for authoritarian, same applies: not to the point is is difficult to reverse.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:13 AM
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Rapscallion Rapscallion is offline
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Originally Posted by s_stabeler View Post
it's fine for a democracy to have a religious bent.
I'm not convinced by this. Religious people aren't elected. If by 'religious bent' you mean that there's a representation by the religions, then I don't see that as democratic. Perhaps you have a different concept of what you mean here?

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Old 07-18-2016, 05:56 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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I mean that legislation being inspired by religious dogma isn't automatically bad. A theocracy is bad, but a democracy doesn't have to completely ignore religion, just tolerate other religions and accept certain safeguards, such as not oppressing women or minorities ( for example, there's no reason i can see why allowing polygamy under the rules laid out in the Koran can't be legal (existing wives must approve any new wife, maximum of 4 wives)
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:33 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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If there is a threat to democracy in Turkey, Erdogan is definitely the biggest. Certainly more so than a disorganized pseudo-coup.

6.000+ arrests among the military, judges, prosecutors. Thousands more police officers suspended. All within three days of this supposed coup? Wow. Couldn't have planned it better, I guess.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:11 PM
Mental_Mouse Mental_Mouse is offline
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To maintain freedom of religion in a democracy, you at least need to have a critical mass of the populace who support freedom for other religions besides their own. Even, or especially, if that's based on "you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone". If you lose that basic support, then the mechanisms of democracy will duly implement "the will of the people", and you lose freedom of religion, if not democracy altogether.

Then you have the problem of someone putting together a power base strong enough that they don't actually need to work with the folks who are outside the base -- that's a basic failure mode of democracy itself.
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