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Are we True or simply Cultural believers in God?

old man emu

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I mentioned in that political discussion the 1999 proposal to alter the Constitution to insert a preamble. The proposed preamble was to begin with "With hope in God,".


I makes me wonder if, some quarter century later, and having seen humongous changes in the makeup of the population and its culture. When our Constitution was drawn up at the end of the 19th Century, the population was strongly Christian. Therefore, invoking the good will of the Christian God was natural. A century later, the population is diverse. There are a number of non-Christian Faiths followed, but a Faith implies a belief in a god. More than likely, the believers outnumber the non-believers. 


My question seeks to determine if references to God in our daily lives are more cultural than part of the practice of a Faith. By cultural, I mean expressions we use that have their source in holy writings, but are applied with no religious intent, such as the expletives, "For Christ' sake"  or "Allah be praised". I don't know the equivalents for Hindus, Sikhs and Zoroastrians.


Would the referencing of a deity be acceptable to the majority, or should such a reference have no real meaning in a document such as a constitution which is a construct of Mankind?



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46 minutes ago, old man emu said:

the expletives, "For Christ' sake"  or "Allah be praised".

I never understood  the psychology behind swearing. Especially the blasphemous kind.



I liked your dredging up of that 1999 Constitution preamble. I like the concept. But I suspect  it was disliked more because of the first four words than the guts of it.

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1 hour ago, nomadpete said:

I never understood  the psychology behind swearing. Especially the blasphemous kind.

Swearing: the use of language regarded as coarse, blasphemous, or otherwise unacceptable in polite or formal speech in order to express anger or other strong emotion.


Polite: relating to people who regard themselves as more cultured and refined than others.


How do you judge what is "coarse"? My Dad once told me that soon after being demobbed after WWII, he was at the dinner table when he asked someone to "pass the f..n salt", as he had been wont to do in camp. The silence from the others at the table was deafening. Now that word in its adjectival and verbal form is part of the lingua franca even of grandmothers. 


Blasphemy: something that you say or do that shows you do not respect God or a religion.

How can something like "Ahh, for Christ's sake!" be a direct exhibition of respect to any god or religion? Blasphemy has to be squarely directed at the god or religion. Invoking a god, as in "God help me, if I catch you doing that again, I'll..." when not a prayer is taking the name in vain.


Polite speech: It is the opinion of self that can give rise to offence from swearing.


Formal speech: the vocabulary used in a speech depends on to whom the speech is being made. 


Express anger or strong emotion: The words defined as swear words are usually of one or two syllables and their etymology can often be traced to the early forms of a language. 


1 hour ago, nomadpete said:

I like the concept. But I suspect  it was disliked more because of the first four words than the guts of it.

I don't remember the referendum debate on that question, but I guess that since it was coupled with the Republican issue, most people just said 'No" to both. The preamble question was probably a seldom-mentioned distraction from the other question.


If you read the wording of the proposed I think it would be very acceptable to all but the most fervent Christians, since the implication of the word "God" is that it refers to the Christian god, and maybe the Hebrew one. It is quite possible to omit any reference to a deity in a constitution's preamble. This is the preamble to the Japanese constitution:


We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution.


Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.


We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.


We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of political morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.


We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.


Admittedly this preamble was written by the American victors, which is why there is so much anti-war and pro-peace stuff in it. The bits I highlighted in blue are what carries the Japanese system now that time has healed the wounds of the period in which the preamble was written.

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I guess the 7 day week was a more manageable number for the plebs.


Can you imagine if they hadn't decided to divide the month into weeks?

We would all have been working 26 days before getting a weekend  off!


And the churches would have to wait 27 days before getting an indoctrination day!



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