The pledge of allegiance question reminded me of this point. If there should be sepperation between church and state, to what do we owe the morals that should (and often do) guide our laws? To clairfy, why do people say it is wrong to do this or that, if they have no higher truth to base it on? If I say it's ok to do heroin (I don't but for arguments sake) what basis does anyone have to tell me it's wrong. Assume I only stay at home and do it. If I cut in front of you in line and you believe in no higher truth, why is it wrong if I don't believe it is? What will you appeal to? Common decency? General opinion?
Simply a Rose to brighten your day,
And maybe lessen the cares in your way;
And also, too, to help you to know,
That in knowing you, many others grow!
We have long been governed by the morals of society before religion came along. Society's morals are governed by the rights and desires of the individuals within the society.
You don't want to be killed, so you pass laws making murder wrong. You don't want YOUR possessions stolen, so you pass laws against theft.
You and the majority pass laws that will cause you to be protected from negative deeds by others and others from negative deeds by you.
It isn't common decency but common survival!
It's sad, but we have laws because some people don't know right from wrong. We live in a society but, to some, that doesn't mean anything so we have to threaten them with jail time or worse. It's kind of like the 'Santa Claus' theory when you're a kid. If you're good, you'll get plenty of toys but if you aren't good, you will get a bag of coal, at best.
Most of us know about common decency. We live in a society. We've come a long way from the days of the caveman. But some people still need laws.
The seperation of church and State is to effectively stop happening what happened in Europe. Basically, the church had so much control over governing that people were not allowed to pick a different religion, or worship God in their own way. People who did not do it right were persecuted. That is what the law is about. Most of the founding fathers believed in God and followed Him, but they felt that to prevent it from happening again they needed to make it a part of the law.
Right and wrong are not based on religious texts, they are based on evolving tradition within society - which is itself based on game theory.
If I tell you 'heroine is wrong', I am not telling you that some invisible task master has decreed as much, nor am I simply restating the fact that it's illegal. I'm telling you that the net benefits of using it are less than the net costs as far as I can tell.
religion is just a hell of a brainwasher. we shouldnt require it as people to do the right thing, so we can get into "heaven." its only for personal benefits, not for others. do whats right using your own beliefs.