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GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 07:00 AM
There's nothing more that I can say (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/dorset/8103581.stm).

PS Apart from the fact that the board ate part of the title. Guess that serves me right, though I do not know what for. I'm quite sure some of you can think of something, though.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-17-2009, 07:57 AM
Well, get rich quick schemes aren't restricted only to the States.

Terez
06-17-2009, 08:02 AM
Callandor posted that on Facebook with much the same reaction...

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 08:28 AM
Gil, I don't think this is a get rich scheme. I think it is a genuine example of religious idiocy.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-17-2009, 08:28 AM
It's kinda both. You missed the part at the end:


They also said that their solicitors told them they had a strong claim.

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 08:35 AM
I don't think those solicitors meant that they could claim a couple of million pounds from the other owners of that building, but that they could argue succesfully that this 'problem' has to be solved. The latter seems more like what you could hope for in a British court than the former.

I do wonder what happens if there's also a druid living there, who, on account of being a devout tree hugger, demands that motion sensor light switches be kept in place. That'd be a nice example of two conflicting religious 'rights'.

Brita
06-17-2009, 10:25 AM
What

The couple's religious code bans lights and other electrical equipment being switched on during Jewish holidays.

"For some time there has been discussions around here about the lights being on all day, which is crazy."

So, wouldn't it be more Kosher (haha, I have no idea if that word actually fits here, I'm sure someone will let me know), anyway, wouldn't it be more Kosher that the lights are on only part of the day, rather than continually throughout their holidays? Or is it the actual switching on of the lights that is religiously reprehensible.

Look at me, trying to make a reasonable argument out of a completely ridiculous situation.

Oh, speaking of religious convictions- Gonzo, the board ate half your title by God's will, because you are an Atheist. When will you learn your lesson?

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 10:36 AM
The problem is the switching on (or off) of lights. More generally: they are not allowed to do any work on the Sabbath.

Walking past a burning light bulb is not work.
Walking past a non-burning light bulb is not work.
Walking past a light bulb which is then turned on (and later off) by a motion sensor is work.
It may not make sense, but it is both logical and consistent.

Of course, on all other days they have no problem whatsoever with that motion sensor and the energy efficient lamp.

And, as seems the way God does things, He mostly missed me (or my thread title, in this case). He only got one letter out of seven. Since that is about standard, I don't think I can present it as evidence for His non-existence. However, if He had cut it off half way the 'L', then this would have been a powerful argument for my case.

JSUCamel
06-17-2009, 10:44 AM
The Sabbath is a day of rest, which means no work of any kind. Orthodox and Conservative Jews, in this day and age and with the technology that we have, have chosen to broaden that edict to include the use of machines that do work for us and includes the act of turning said machines on or off. That includes dishwashers, laundry machines, irons, vacuum cleaners, cars, and yes, light switches.

In other words, if the light is on when the Sabbath (or any other Jewish holiday that denotes a day of rest), then the light switch can't be turned off without doing "work". So it stays on. If it as off when the Sabbath begins, it stays off.

Also, the work isn't "religiously reprehensible". It's a sign of respect toward God that we rest on the Sabbath, to honor His rest on the seventh day. It's not like a Jew would be excommunicated (if such a concept even exists in Judaism -- I've certainly never heard of it) for turning on the lights, but it is certainly frowned upon in the more conservative circles.

There are essentially three divisions of Jewish orthodoxy -- Orthodox (strict), Conservative (kinda strict) and Reform (not so strict). Ozy (iirc) and I are what you would call Reform Jews. Reform Jews tend to not really care so much about those kinds of rules (and not so much about being kosher), except on major holidays. But we're still Jews.

Just picking a nit. It's not sacrilegious (or "religiously reprehensible" as you put it), per se, to do work on the Sabbath.

Crispin's Crispian
06-17-2009, 10:49 AM
The Sabbath is a day of rest, which means no work of any kind. Orthodox and Conservative Jews, in this day and age and with the technology that we have, have chosen to broaden that edict to include the use of machines that do work for us and includes the act of turning said machines on or off. That includes dishwashers, laundry machines, irons, vacuum cleaners, cars, and yes, light switches.

In other words, if the light is on when the Sabbath (or any other Jewish holiday that denotes a day of rest), then the light switch can't be turned off without doing "work". So it stays on. If it as off when the Sabbath begins, it stays off.

Also, the work isn't "religiously reprehensible". It's a sign of respect toward God that we rest on the Sabbath, to honor His rest on the seventh day. It's not like a Jew would be excommunicated (if such a concept even exists in Judaism -- I've certainly never heard of it) for turning on the lights, but it is certainly frowned upon in the more conservative circles.

There are essentially three divisions of Jewish orthodoxy -- Orthodox (strict), Conservative (kinda strict) and Reform (not so strict). Ozy (iirc) and I are what you would call Reform Jews. Reform Jews tend to not really care so much about those kinds of rules (and not so much about being kosher), except on major holidays. But we're still Jews.

Just picking a nit. It's not sacrilegious (or "religiously reprehensible" as you put it), per se, to do work on the Sabbath.
So what would happen if a non-Jewish neighbor or employee from the apartment turned the light on/off? Is this the same thing?

Gilshalos Sedai
06-17-2009, 11:04 AM
Wouldn't WALKING in and of itself be considered WORK?

JSUCamel
06-17-2009, 11:16 AM
So what would happen if a non-Jewish neighbor or employee from the apartment turned the light on/off? Is this the same thing?

I don't believe so. Again, I'm Reform, so I don't follow these rules and I'm not terribly familiar with them. I imagine that if someone else did it of their own accord, it wouldn't be a big deal, but they couldn't ask someone else to turn the light off for them (that would be, uh.. brokering a deal or something, which might be considered work).

Wouldn't WALKING in and of itself be considered WORK?

Not exactly. Walking to and from synagogue is allowed, as is walking for essential functions (bathroom, meals, etc), but it's generally a day of rest, so many (if not almost all) Orthodox Jews literally do that -- sit around, read, pray, study, nap, etc.

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 11:18 AM
So what would happen if a non-Jewish neighbor or employee from the apartment turned the light on/off? Is this the same thing?From what I know of it, that would be all right, as long as the Jews didn't ask for it to be done. However, if they do ask, then that too counts as work. Unless they ask in advance, in which case it may or may not count, depending on the actual case.

Anaiya Sedai
06-17-2009, 11:20 AM
Wouldn't WALKING in and of itself be considered WORK?

my mum's rabbi only walks a certain amounts of steps on the sabbath, and only if he has to. He also asks people to turn on lights for him - I don't see the problem in the motion sensor? it's not like they are doing the work, apart from walking. what do they want - break their necks, falling over something in the dark?

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 11:38 AM
No, they want the lights to remain switched on, so that the hallway is always lit. At least, during the Sabbath. On other days the motion sensor is of course a very good idea.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-17-2009, 11:46 AM
Most motion sensors have a switch you can set to on or off to deactivate the motion part. Our file room has one.

Neilbert
06-17-2009, 11:51 AM
No, they want the lights to remain switched on, so that the hallway is always lit. At least, during the Sabbath. On other days the motion sensor is of course a very good idea.

How is paying a power company to do work (providing the excess electricity) any different from paying someone to flip the light switch off, or having a sensor do the work for you? If you want a truly "no work" experience, go flip the fuse box.

No matter what work is being done for your benefit, and at your expense.

Sei'taer
06-17-2009, 12:00 PM
Good God...y'all are talking about this load of crap and in the meantime Obama killed a fly during an interview and is being praised all over the news.

You people need to get you priorities straight.

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 12:22 PM
How is paying a power company to do work (providing the excess electricity) any different from paying someone to flip the light switch off, or having a sensor do the work for you?For that one, you'd have to ask a rabbi, I think. Of course, if you ask two rabbis, you'll probably get (at least) two answers, so it may not be entirely conclusive.

Crispin's Crispian
06-17-2009, 12:37 PM
So technically, walking past a motion sensor equates to "asking" it to turn on the light.

the silent speaker
06-17-2009, 01:39 PM
The point is that walking past the motion sensor actually completes the circuit and so is the equivalent of flicking the switch as they pass.

Walking per se is not "work", but there is a restricted radius for major travel.

Asking a non-Jew to do your work for you is not Biblically forbidden, but it is Rabbinically forbidden for fairly obvious reasons. When there are sufficient (and sufficiently) extenuating circumstances that may or may not be waived, because it's a lesser degree of prohibition. As far as the power company goes, you're not asking them to do anything sepcifically or directly; they're doing it of their own volition, without any input from you, solely as they see fit. The fact that you benefit is of no account -- you're allowed (in principle, most of the time; this is Jewish la talking, after all, so there will always be another exception) to benefit from work that happened to be done. here are some other considerations too, such as the fact that they're not doing it for you but for their entire clientele.

Oh, and Sei'taer, that fly was a terrorist.

Sinistrum
06-17-2009, 02:05 PM
Oh, and Sei'taer, that fly was a terrorist.

If that's true then why did he swat it? Surely he could have tried diplomacy first before resulting to such violence. His actions have officially brought this country down to their level. What is more, the fly was just fighting against the horrid economic conditions in his country of origin (Flyistan I believe) that are due to exploitation by American corporations, the military industrial complex, and foreign policy intervention. We bombed all of the cow shit he was planning to eat and sprayed all of his children with bug spray! Think of his children before condemning him as just another "terrorist!" His children!

tworiverswoman
06-17-2009, 03:59 PM
Religious ... rites are always a touchy issue. But, seriously -- how in hell can an AUTOMATIC device, that was put in place over your protest, acts without you doing ANYTHING but pass near it, and merely turns a hall light on and off be deemed "work" by even the most DEVOUT believer in any faith.

Frankly, I find including flipping light switches in the list of Orthodox no-nos to be over-the-top anyway. I can get the thinking behind a vacuum cleaner or washing machine, but...:confused:

BIWIDNBANW must shake his head in pain at the incredibly silly things humans do to make life MORE difficult for themselves. We're incredibly good at it.

tworiverswoman
06-17-2009, 04:02 PM
Sei Ta'er - I had to google "Obama fly" just to find out whatinhell you were talking about. so... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sV3_LUBGTU

LOL - awesome!

the silent speaker
06-17-2009, 04:29 PM
But, seriously -- how in hell can an AUTOMATIC device, that was put in place over your protest, acts without you doing ANYTHING but pass near it,
"Pass near it" is a volitional act. If you don't know that there is a motion sensor there I hold that you're not obligated to make any inquiries, and it's not on you if one happens to be there and turns on; but "you don't have to do anything except for the parts that you do" is not an argument.

"Work" has connotations in English that don't apply to Sabbath 'work'. A physicist's definition of "work" will be closer; still not exact, but it might help you wrap your mind around why turning on a television is not fundamentally different from turning on a vacuum cleaner.

Ozymandias
06-17-2009, 06:43 PM
Well, get rich quick schemes aren't restricted only to the States.

While its kind of unreasonable, its not a get rich quick scheme.

A.) They have a legitimate religious reason for wanting to take it down. Its not like the people who sued Seaworld when their friend died going on the orca while tank.

B.) They asked to have a manual override installed, something that probably costs far less than than the legal fees will and is pretty harmless.

Neilbert
06-17-2009, 06:49 PM
A physicist's definition of "work" will be closer; still not exact, but it might help you wrap your mind around why turning on a television is not fundamentally different from turning on a vacuum cleaner.

Yeah, if we use a physicist's definition of "work" it just gets worse, because if you aren't working by that definition you aren't moving, breathing, or metabolizing.

Walking near a sensor is hardly a volitional act turning on and off the sensor, that's the whole point of sensors, they don't require volition.

StrangePackage
06-17-2009, 10:22 PM
Gonzo taking issues with Jews, yet again?

Stop the presses.

GonzoTheGreat
06-18-2009, 03:40 AM
No, I do not really take issue with them in this case. I am merely laughing at their sillyness. That's not the same, you know.
Of course, if I were one of the other home owners there, I would be rather annoyed at them, since the legal fees are going to have to be paid by those home owners.

Actually, come to think of it, the thread title was supposed to be sort of a clue for this.

Ishara
06-18-2009, 08:16 AM
Frankly, I find including flipping light switches in the list of Orthodox no-nos to be over-the-top anyway. You don't need to understand - or approve. They're not doing it for you.

GonzoTheGreat
06-18-2009, 09:37 AM
You don't need to understand - or approve. They're not doing it for you.Well, yes and no. There is the bit about "as long as there ten righteous men left, God won't destroy the city". So by doing this, they're protecting you (the people in the city where they live, at least) from God's wrath.

Neilbert
06-18-2009, 10:12 AM
You don't need to understand - or approve. They're not doing it for you.

The second they filed a lawsuit they opened themselves up to public scrutiny. It doesn't matter who they are doing it for, they are using a public forum to do it.

tworiverswoman
06-18-2009, 01:33 PM
Ishara, I'm not even thinking now about the people who are following these rules - I'm contemplating the group of men who had to get together to discuss them and decide what rules they were going to pass on to their followers.

"They're not doing it for you." What's your point? I am expressing a personal opinion, and I think I still have that right, don't I?

GonzoTheGreat
06-18-2009, 01:57 PM
"They're not doing it for you." What's your point? I am expressing a personal opinion, and I think I still have that right, don't I?Perhaps, but the only bit of scripture I've found which seems to address this is still rather vague, I think:

Job|32:9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.
Job|32:10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will show mine opinion.

In my experience, I've been very consistently told that I misunderstand Job, so I think I won't venture an opinion on the permissibility of venturing opinions, and instead leave it as an exercise for the reader.

Ishara
06-18-2009, 03:42 PM
Are you entitled to your opinion? Of course.

Zanguini
06-18-2009, 04:14 PM
Exod. 31:12 Then the LORD said to Moses, 13"Say to the Israelites, `You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. 14"`Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. 15For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.'"
Exod. 35:1 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, "These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do: 2For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. 3Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day."



Luke 6:1 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" 3Jesus answered them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." 5Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 6On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Get up and stand in front of everyone." So he got up and stood there. 9Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?"

Luke 13:10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." 15The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"


difference between christian and jewish views of the sabbath

the silent speaker
06-18-2009, 04:23 PM
I am merely laughing at their sillyness.
Ha ha, those wacky Jews.

GonzoTheGreat
06-18-2009, 04:42 PM
Ha ha, those wacky Jews.More accurately: those wacky believers, who in this case happen to be orthodox Jews.
The specifics of the religion are not really what makes them wacky; that wackiness comes from adhering strictly to what is nothing but an arbitrary set of rules. Any other similarly arbitrary set of rules would also result in comparable wackiness, though the specifics would (probably) differ.

Terez
06-18-2009, 05:47 PM
difference between christian and jewish views of the sabbath Example of New Testament contradiction:

Luke 16:17 = Matt 5:18
Luke 16:17
But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped.


Matthew 5:18
5:18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Crispin's Crispian
06-18-2009, 05:53 PM
Example of New Testament contradiction:
Not much of a contradiction, there. More like two restatements of the same principle.

Terez
06-18-2009, 06:45 PM
They aren't called the synoptic gospels for nothing. The contradiction was to what Zan posted.

the silent speaker
06-18-2009, 11:19 PM
More accurately: those wacky believers, who in this case happen to be orthodox Jews.
So you're not mocking the Jews for keeping their faith, you're mocking everyone for their faith, especially the Jews. Oh, well, that's much better.

JSUCamel
06-19-2009, 12:08 AM
So you're not mocking the Jews for keeping their faith, you're mocking everyone for their faith, especially the Jews. Oh, well, that's much better.

At least he's consistent.

tworiverswoman
06-19-2009, 12:56 AM
So you're not mocking the Jews for keeping their faith, you're mocking everyone for their faith, especially the Jews. Oh, well, that's much better.Wrong again. The first two thirds of your sentence are correct, but he's never been particular. The only reason the Jews are today's target is because they are the focus of this particular article.

Had the party filing the lawsuit been members of Islam, Catholics, Episcopalians, Quakers or Cargo Cultists, he would be mocking them just the same.

Neilbert
06-19-2009, 01:35 AM
So you're not mocking the Jews for keeping their faith, you're mocking everyone for their faith, especially the Jews. Oh, well, that's much better.

He isn't even mocking their faith. He's mocking the insane literalist interpretation of their faith.

God just said take a day off to chill. Ain't nothing wrong with that. It's when you start making all these specific rules that it starts to get real stupid real fast, and most (non Orthodox) Jews happily acknowledge that fact.

Spidy
06-19-2009, 02:50 AM
1. Costs for installation of an override
2. Legal Fees
3. Compensation

I can understand the first two but what do they need compensation for?

GonzoTheGreat
06-19-2009, 03:48 AM
To get taken seriously, of course. If you start a lawsuit, and you're not asking for compensation, the judge will have your mental health checked, while your suit goes nowhere.

Gonzo wonders whether he'll now be accused of mocking the justice system in general, and the "sue everyone in sight" paradigma specifically. If so, the accusation will be right on target.

Spidy
06-19-2009, 04:32 AM
Compensation means that they have had a loss of some description. What sort of loss could they have suffered and by the way could comepnsation be construed as reward for effort(like work, for example). Could be a touch hypocritical.

GonzoTheGreat
06-19-2009, 05:38 AM
Devout believers being hypocritical? No way, man. Absolutely no way.

But to be honest: I think it most likely that the compensation bit was inserted by the lawyers they consulted. That's what lawyers are for, after all.

Crispin's Crispian
06-19-2009, 09:50 AM
Possibly compensation for legal fees? Those lawyers get pretty expensive, you know.

Neilbert
06-19-2009, 10:13 AM
What sort of loss could they have suffered and by the way could comepnsation be construed as reward for effort(like work, for example).

Well, if they are going to hell, or wherever bad Jews go when they die, then compensation might be in order. I guess.. :confused:

Of course, I'm of the opinion that a god that damns you over a light switch isn't worth worshiping in the first place.

JSUCamel
06-19-2009, 10:26 AM
You're not exactly damned over a light switch. Scripturally speaking, there isn't a hell for Jews. There's not really much of a heaven either. Any mention of the afterlife (such as we think of it) is vague and not really important. As far as Judiasm goes, it's about worshiping God now, following his laws now, and being his chosen people on Earth. The afterlife is, well, an afterthought. Contrast with Christianity which is obsessed with getting into heaven.

That's one thing that's always bugged me about Christianity. In Judaism, you follow God's laws because you love God. In Christianity, you follow God's laws because, if you don't, you go to Hell.

the silent speaker
06-19-2009, 10:40 AM
He's mocking the insane literalist interpretation of their faith.
Since the interpretation in question is neither literalist nor insane, this statement is untenable.

Neilbert
06-19-2009, 10:56 AM
You're right, it's actually not literalist, which is why I had to throw insane in there. Which it is. It's insane people trying to be literalists.

GonzoTheGreat
06-19-2009, 11:10 AM
So you're not mocking the Jews for keeping their faith, you're mocking everyone for their faith, especially the Jews. Oh, well, that's much better.I have to admit that this may be a bit closer to the truth than my defenders (where did I get those? :eek: ) and me thought at first. Of course, the explanation is that the Jews are in the majority, and in our part of the world they're even by far the dominant group. This may be where I lose my defenders again, since for this purpose I count Muslims, Christians and all other followers of the god of Abraham as Jews too. Sure, some of them are heretics, but I feel that I can leave it up to them to quarrel over who is and isn't heretical. They sure do not seem to need my input for that.

But if some Hindu sillyness makes the headlines, then I'm willing to laugh at that too.
As for Scientology: that would be one giant laughing matter, if not for the fact that some idiots actually take it seriously.

Isabel
06-19-2009, 11:47 AM
Of course, the explanation is that the Jews are in the majority, and in our part of the world they're even by far the dominant group. This may be where I lose my defenders again, since for this purpose I count Muslims, Christians and all other followers of the god of Abraham as Jews too. Sure, some of them are heretics, but I feel that I can leave it up to them to quarrel over who is and isn't heretical. They sure do not seem to need my input for that.


ROFL. Brilliant ;)

StrangePackage
06-19-2009, 12:02 PM
I have to admit that this may be a bit closer to the truth than my defenders (where did I get those? :eek: ) and me thought at first. Of course, the explanation is that the Jews are in the majority, and in our part of the world they're even by far the dominant group. This may be where I lose my defenders again, since for this purpose I count Muslims, Christians and all other followers of the god of Abraham as Jews too. Sure, some of them are heretics, but I feel that I can leave it up to them to quarrel over who is and isn't heretical. They sure do not seem to need my input for that.

But if some Hindu sillyness makes the headlines, then I'm willing to laugh at that too.
As for Scientology: that would be one giant laughing matter, if not for the fact that some idiots actually take it seriously.

So then why do you take such issue with Jewish settlers in the West Bank? It's all Jew to you.

Gonzo, I understand that you feel no special compunction to honor other persons' beliefs and hold them sacrosant, but at the same time- does this break your leg or pick your pocket? Why do you give a shit? The only thing I've taken from this entire exchange is that you don't like religion, and that people who do and who attempt to live their life the way they believe God intends are worthy of ridicule.

I don't see you posting articles ridiculing Catholics for believing in transubstantiation, Mormons for their belief in the Lost Tribe of Israel being the Native Americans, Hindus for their belief that the world exists on a lotus growing out of someone's bellybutton, or Athiest's steadfast belief that there is no God despite the fact that they have no evidence to support that claim- all of which are just as laughable in their own way as the belief that a devout Jew should not be forced to have someone or something work on his behalf on the Sabbath in contravention to God's Law.

What exactly is your intention here? Notwithstanding your long and storied history of anti-semetic remarks, what are you getting at?

Terez
06-19-2009, 12:20 PM
SP, that's probably the most idiotic post I've ever seen on Theoryland. Congrats...

StrangePackage
06-19-2009, 12:31 PM
SP, that's probably the most idiotic post I've ever seen on Theoryland. Congrats...

Thank you for your valued insight. It's that kind of strong, informative posting that has earned you your reputation.

I strive to provide the best I can, in all that I do.

Another superlative to my record.

Neilbert
06-19-2009, 12:50 PM
Gonzo, I understand that you feel no special compunction to honor other persons' beliefs and hold them sacrosant, but at the same time- does this break your leg or pick your pocket?

You do realize there was a lawsuit involved?

This isn't just some theology discussion. Of course I'm sure you are more than comfortable ignoring whatever facts don't conform to your worldview.

I don't see you posting articles ridiculing Catholics for believing in transubstantiation, Mormons for their belief in the Lost Tribe of Israel being the Native Americans, Hindus for their belief that the world exists on a lotus growing out of someone's bellybutton,

Cry more.

GonzoTheGreat
06-19-2009, 04:01 PM
So then why do you take such issue with Jewish settlers in the West Bank? It's all Jew to you.I also disapproved of Saddam's occupation of Quwait, even though they were all Muslims (with the exception of the Jews and Christians in Iraq, of course). And I disapprove of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, even though they're basically not Jews at all (with the exception of a small minority, primarily in China in that case).
In all those cases we have one people stealing the land of another people, treating that second group as virtual slaves (with somewhat differing definitions) in the process.

Gonzo, I understand that you feel no special compunction to honor other persons' beliefs and hold them sacrosant, but at the same time- does this break your leg or pick your pocket?As far as I know, I have never made more than very slight fun of the beliefs of the Quakers, who do not try to impose those beliefs on others.

My problem is not with beliefs that people have for themselves, it is with the incessant attempts to impose those beliefs, or at the very least their consequences, on others.

Why do you give a shit?First they came for ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came...)

Because in this case they attempted to impose the silly superstition on others. I have known that this particular 'problem' existed for years, but that was just a random oddity, not something to start a thread about.

The only thing I've taken from this entire exchange is that you don't like religion, and that people who do and who attempt to live their life the way they believe God intends are worthy of ridicule.That is where you went wrong, at least a bit. I do think that a lot of people who try to live such lifes are ridiculous. But I do not think that they are worthy of ridicule (by others) until (and not unless) they start bothering others with it.

I don't see you posting articles ridiculing Catholics for believing in transubstantiation, Mormons for their belief in the Lost Tribe of Israel being the Native Americans, Hindus for their belief that the world exists on a lotus growing out of someone's bellybutton, or Athiest's steadfast belief that there is no God despite the fact that they have no evidence to support that claim- all of which are just as laughable in their own way as the belief that a devout Jew should not be forced to have someone or something work on his behalf on the Sabbath in contravention to God's Law. Let's take this in order.

First, the transubstantion thing: that's at least in part a selection effect. On another board I've ridiculed that belief quite enthusiastically, because in that case it turned up as a more or less natural part of the discussion. But I do not feel any compulsion to start a thread here (or elsewhere) about the cannibalistic tendencies of Christians.

The Mormons ... I don't think I am capable of ridiculing them, to be honest. To do so, I would have to top the magical underwear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_underwear), and I don't think I could do that. So I leave that as a DIY project, generally.

The Hindus ... I'm not saying they can't start bothering non-believers with some piece of obligatory doctrine based on that bit of faith, but I haven't seen it, yet. When they try to pass a law that my belly button should be a flower pot, I will ridicule them, I can promise you that.

My problem with the Jews is not that they're not willing to do any work themselves on the Sabbath; that's entirely up to them. My amusement stems from the fact that they want to introduce complications to get around the laws of physics, so that they can pretend to be observing a rule that is ludicrous to begin with.

What exactly is your intention here? Notwithstanding your long and storied history of anti-semetic remarks, what are you getting at?I admit that I've quite often been rather 'not nice' over the way in which Saudi Arabia treats women. But I do not think that is quite the same as being anti-semetic.

What I wanted to share here was an example of religious lunacy.

In order to honor their God and do "less work" on the Sabbath, these people wanted to do far more work on other days, while still doing more work on the Sabbath. That becomes clear when you compare the two situations:
-Motion sensor automatically (without anyone doing any work at all) switching lights on and off when someone walks past. Persons walking past for various reasons (for instance, going to or returing from the synagogue).
-Motion sensor automatically (without anyone doing any work at all) switching lights on and off when someone walks past on weekdays. Persons walking past for various reasons (for instance, going to or returing from the synagogue). Before the Sabbath, pressing a special button to switch the motion sensor off, thus turning the lights on (or off) for the whole day. After the Sabbath, pressing the button again to reset the system.

As an additional question, which hadn't occurred to me until now: are Jewish burglary alarms turned off before the Sabbath? If not, then they would be doing work if a burglar enters the building during the Sabbath, which would be displeasing to the Lord. How about fire alarms?

Zanguini
06-19-2009, 04:07 PM
the difference between all major religions probrably nsfw (http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/1/28/633687430971532560-religion.jpg)

the silent speaker
06-19-2009, 04:26 PM
My problem is not with beliefs that people have for themselves, it is with the incessant attempts to impose those beliefs, or at the very least their consequences, on others.
Reread. They are saying that they should not be forced to violate their own beliefs, not that others should be forced to follow them. If other people want to turn the light on and off using the still perfectly functional manual swtich, that is their right and prerogative. What is not their right and prerogative is to force the couple to turn the light on and off using the sensor switch.

My amusement stems from the fact that they want to introduce complications to get around the laws of physics,
What law of physics are they trying to dodge?

so that they can pretend to be observing a rule
Since you know absolutely nothing about this rule or its historical jurisprudence, you have zero credibility to say this.

that is ludicrous to begin with.
So much for "I only ridicule them when they impact others".

In order to honor their God and do "less work" on the Sabbath, these people wanted to do far more work on other days, while still doing more work on the Sabbath. That becomes clear when you compare the two situations:
-Motion sensor automatically (without anyone doing any work at all) switching lights on and off when someone walks past. Persons walking past for various reasons (for instance, going to or returing from the synagogue).
-Motion sensor automatically (without anyone doing any work at all) switching lights on and off when someone walks past on weekdays. Persons walking past for various reasons (for instance, going to or returing from the synagogue). Before the Sabbath, pressing a special button to switch the motion sensor off, thus turning the lights on (or off) for the whole day. After the Sabbath, pressing the button again to reset the system.
You have been repeatedly told that the word "work" does not mean what you think it does, and further that quantity of effect effected is not the measure. This entire paragraph is rendered meaningless. Why do you persist in spouting off idiocy?

Furthermore:
Motion sensor automatically (without anyone doing any work at all) switching lights on and off when someone walks past.
Walking past equals flicking the switch.
Flicking the switch equals turning on the light.
Turning on the light equals "work".

Therefore, walking past, where one knows that a motion sensor will be activated, equals the "work" of turning on the light. What you are saying is the equivalent of "I didn't kill him, the bullet killed him. All I did was squeeze my little finger a little; surely you don't think I have some arcane power to make someone die by crooking a finger."

GonzoTheGreat
06-19-2009, 04:51 PM
If other people want to turn the light on and off using the still perfectly functional manual swtich, that is their right and prerogative. What is not their right and prerogative is to force the couple to turn the light on and off using the sensor switch.Would the same be true for automatic doors?
Which brings up the question: does a closed door stop an orthodox Jew on the Sabbath, or is it "not work" to open and close that?
If other people want to turn the light on and off using the still perfectly functional manual swtich, that is their right and prerogative.Sounds reasonable, but that's not how it would work, if I understand the situation correctly. What would happen is that during the Sabbath the light would burn the whole time, whether or not anyone needed it. If it could be switched off, the Jews would still be stuck in the dark, because they couldn't (well, wouldn't) switch it on again.
What law of physics are they trying to dodge?The laws that govern that motion sensor, which does not require any action they wouldn't take anyway. They walk past it, whether or not the thing is activated.
Since you know absolutely nothing about this rule or its historical jurisprudence, you have zero credibility to say this.Can you prove my ignorance?
If not, I'd advice you to refrain from ad hominems.
So much for "I only ridicule them when they impact others".Which they do, by leaving the light switched on, or starting a law suit to achieve that.
You have been repeatedly told that the word "work" does not mean what you think it does, and further that quantity of effect effected is not the measure. This entire paragraph is rendered meaningless. Why do you persist in spouting off idiocy?I know that "work" in this sense is just a religious fiction. It is precisely that religious fiction which I'm ridiculing.
What you are saying is the equivalent of "I didn't kill him, the bullet killed him. All I did was squeeze my little finger a little; surely you don't think I have some arcane power to make someone die by crooking a finger."Which would be a very sensible defense, for a person who wasn't holding a gun at the time. If you hadn't held a gun, crooked your finger and someone else died at that instant, would you consider yourself guilty?

Let me use another, more appropriate, example:
Suppose that I see those Jews walking towards me, and I move aside to let them pass comfortably. Then they have done just as much work (by impacting my optic nerve, triggering some brain cells and then activating my muscles) as they would do with that motion sensor. So, is it permitted for Jews to be seen on the Sabbath, and if so, why does that not violate the "no work" prohibition?

StrangePackage
06-19-2009, 04:55 PM
You do realize there was a lawsuit involved?

This isn't just some theology discussion. Of course I'm sure you are more than comfortable ignoring whatever facts don't conform to your worldview.

Gil, I don't think this is a get rich scheme. I think it is a genuine example of religious idiocy.
Religious ... rites are always a touchy issue. But, seriously -- how in hell can an AUTOMATIC device, that was put in place over your protest, acts without you doing ANYTHING but pass near it, and merely turns a hall light on and off be deemed "work" by even the most DEVOUT believer in any faith.
Well, yes and no. There is the bit about "as long as there ten righteous men left, God won't destroy the city". So by doing this, they're protecting you (the people in the city where they live, at least) from God's wrath.
No, I do not really take issue with them in this case. I am merely laughing at their sillyness.
He isn't even mocking their faith. He's mocking the insane literalist interpretation of their faith.

God just said take a day off to chill. Ain't nothing wrong with that. It's when you start making all these specific rules that it starts to get real stupid real fast, and most (non Orthodox) Jews happily acknowledge that fact.
Of course, I'm of the opinion that a god that damns you over a light switch isn't worth worshiping in the first place.


And try as I might, I can't locate a single reference in the entire thread to the Equality Act 2006, or the Human Rights Act 1998, nor have any of our British posters posited how this suit will affect their daily lives, nor have any posters engaged in a serious discussion of the legal merits of this case.

The entire thread, it seems, is a theological and ideological discussion, and has almost nothing to do with the actual lawsuit. Which facts am I ignoring?

None of this thread is dedicated to the merits of the lawsuit. All of it is dedicated to what amounts to ridiculing people for their attempts to be pious.

GonzoTheGreat
06-20-2009, 04:35 AM
All right, let's focus a bit more on possible legal implications. Quite a lot of people in the UK have outside lights that are also operated by motion sensors, both to help them move around in their own garden in the dark and as a "scare burglars away" device. In many cases, such things may already be triggered by someone walking past on the pavement outside the garden.
Now, what would it mean if this lawsuit were to be succesful?

Does that mean that if anywhere on a possible route between the home of an orthodox Jew and a religiously allowed destination for him on the Sabbath there is such a motion sensor, that thing has to be switched off so as not to impinge on his human rights?

This matter goes beyond just this one single motion sensor, it may impact them all.

And I've noticed that no one has addressed the motion sensor (or heat sensor) operated automatic doors, yet. Are those too to be prohibited if they inconvenience any Jews?
If one or more Jews had to walk along a shopping street on his way to the synagogue, that could impact business rather badly, if all the shops there had to close on the saturday to "protect the human right not to do any work" of this small group.

But I'll look through the Equality Act 2006 (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/pdf/ukpga_20060003_en.pdf) (warning: 93 page PDF file), and see what it has to say.

GonzoTheGreat
06-20-2009, 05:24 AM
45 Discrimination
(3) A person (“A”) discriminates against another (“B”) for the purposes of this Part
if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice—
(a) which he applies or would apply equally to persons not of B’s religion
or belief,
(b) which puts persons of B’s religion or belief at a disadvantage compared
to some or all others (where there is no material difference in the
relevant circumstances),
(c) which puts B at a disadvantage compared to some or all persons who
are not of his religion or belief (where there is no material difference in
the relevant circumstances), and
(d) which A cannot reasonably justify by reference to matters other than
B’s religion or belief.


I would say that saving energy and a longer lifetime for the light bulb (or whatever) provides a reasonable justification as meant in 45.3.d, so this does not seem to be a passage that could be used here.


47 Premises
(1) It is unlawful for a person to discriminate against another—
(a) in the terms on which he offers to dispose of premises to him,
(b) by refusing to dispose of premises to him, or
(c) in connection with a list of persons requiring premises.
(2) It is unlawful for a person managing premises to discriminate against an
occupier—
(a) in the manner in which he provides access to a benefit or facility,
(b) by refusing access to a benefit or facility,
(c) by evicting him, or
(d) by subjecting him to another detriment.
(3) It is unlawful for a person to discriminate against another by refusing
permission for the disposal of premises to him.
(4) This section applies only to premises in Great Britain.


Here it might be argued that 47.2.d applies. Frankly, I think that "another detriment" is so vague that I wouldn't want to have to argue it either way in a court of law. At the very least, I would want to have a list of "other detriments" which were considered not sufficient, without that any perceived slight could be called discrimination in the sense of this law.


54 Discriminatory advertisements
(1) It is unlawful to publish an advertisement, or to cause an advertisement to be
published, if it indicates (expressly or impliedly) an intention by any person to
discriminate unlawfully.
(2) In subsection (1) the reference to unlawful discrimination is a reference to
discrimination which is unlawful by virtue of any of sections 46 to 52.
(3) Proceedings in respect of a contravention of subsection (1) may be brought
only—
(a) by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, and
(b) in accordance with section 25.
(4) A person who publishes an advertisement shall not be liable in proceedings
under that section in respect of the publication of the advertisement if he
proves that—
(a) he published in reliance on a statement, made by a person causing the
advertisement to be published, that subsection (1) would not apply,
and
(b) that it was reasonable to rely on that statement.
(5) A person commits an offence if he knowingly or recklessly makes a false
statement of the kind mentioned in subsection (4)(a).
(6) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (5) shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.


Now, suppose that this case goes through and is considered valid, then advertising for motion sensors in Great Britain would be prohibited, unless those motion sensors are equipped with override switches. See my automatic shop door example for the consequences of this.

So it seems to me that if this is considered a valid complaint, then the UK is in for an enormous amount of trouble, as it will have to start prosecuting millions of shops and other businesses for discrimination. Somehow, I doubt that's what the ones writing this law intended.

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 11:38 AM
Gonzo- whatever your day job is, don't leave it for a legal career just yet.

First, if your analysis is correct, then you can't move on to another section, because the basic definition of discrimination has not been met. But since you are trying to convince a judge- are you honestly telling me that free and unfettered access to practice of religion, one of the most paramount rights accorded persons in Britain, should be abrogated for the right of a landlord to save what amounts to probably less than 10 dollars a year in energy costs? And that is reasonable? In your mind, free exercise of religion is not worth 10 dollars?

There is a test implicit in the language of 45(3)(d) which requires actor A to demonstrate the "reasonable" nature of this action in contrast with the perceived detriment to B. It is not, in my opinion, reasonable to say "Well, yes, this will impact orthodox Jews in a way that infringes their right to practice their religion, but I saved nearly 7 dollars last year in electricity bills!"

Further, you have to assume that "Another detriment" was left intentionally vague to encompass a wide array of practices and actions any of which could be considered to be discriminatory. Rather than strictly delineate what practices do or do not constitute discrimination, and thereby leave open wide swaths of practices which are defacto discrimination but do not rise to the statutory definition, the authors of the bill left it nebulous. So your argument here, that it's vague, is actually an argument in FAVOR of the plaintiff's case- that the statute was designed to consider just such actions as these, by virtue of it being so broadly drawn.

Finally, your legal analysis of the possible consequences is... well, bluntly, stupid. There is nothing about motion sensors that is, in and of itself, discriminatory. The only practice that the court was considering was the placing of motion sensor lights in the common area of an apartment building where an Orthodox Jewish family lives, without providing an alternative route to attend temple or an alternative to using the motion-sensitive switch to keep the lights active one day a week. That's it.

Nothing in that ruling in any way, shape or form could be construed to prohibit the sale of motion sensors, the advertisement of motions sensors, or the use of pressure sensitive doors on shops.

Neilbert
06-20-2009, 12:50 PM
God save us from lawyers. If they ran the world the only real crime would be not having the foresight to be born rich.

It is not, in my opinion, reasonable to say "Well, yes, this will impact orthodox Jews in a way that infringes their right to practice their religion, but I saved nearly 7 dollars last year in electricity bills!"

You are welcome to your stupid opinion, just like these Jews are welcome to move to a more accommodating community. Not allowing light sensors is still an insane interpretation of the "thou shal not work" rule no matter how you slice it, and nobody should be forced to accommodate them, and certainly nobody should be forced to spend money to accommodate this wackyness.

If I converted to Rhastafarianism I bet my left nut you wouldn't be nearly as fierce (or even at all) in advocating for my right to toke up as I damn well please.

The only practice that the court was considering was the placing of motion sensor lights in the common area of an apartment building where an Orthodox Jewish family lives, without providing an alternative route to attend temple or an alternative to using the motion-sensitive switch to keep the lights active one day a week. That's it.

Oh well now that you spell it out like that it seems completely reasonable. Let's completely renovate an apartment to accommodate one wacky family.

Walking past equals flicking the switch.
Flicking the switch equals turning on the light.
Turning on the light equals "work".

Yeah, we understand the reasoning behind it, we just don't agree.

E: One day a week the Orthidox Jews get to force everyone in the common room to abide by the rules of their religion. In what way does that seem reasonable to you?

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 01:21 PM
You are welcome to your stupid opinion, just like these Jews are welcome to move to a more accommodating community.

And blacks in the US were free to move to areas where Jim Crow laws were not so prevalent. The point is, according to the laws of Britain, there's a good argument that they shouldn't have to move- that their right to practice their religion freely trumps the landlord's use of motion sensors for one 12 hour period a week.

Not allowing light sensors is still an insane interpretation of the "thou shal not work" rule no matter how you slice it, and nobody should be forced to accommodate them, and certainly nobody should be forced to spend money to accommodate this wackyness.

That's your stupid opinion, and you're entitled to it. However, because their stupid opinion is regarding their religion, it is entitled to much more protection than yours. You are not, no matter how much you might like to be, the ultimate arbiter of which religious beliefs we protect and which we do not.

If I converted to Rhastafarianism I bet my left nut you wouldn't be nearly as fierce (or even at all) in advocating for my right to toke up as I damn well please.

You'd lose your left nut.

Oh well now that you spell it out like that it seems completely reasonable. Let's completely renovate an apartment to accommodate one wacky family.

Or, alternatively, you could leave the lights on in the common area of the apartment building for one 12 hour period a week. Shocking and horrible to consider, I know- just think, that's 48 hours a MONTH that the lights would have to remain on in the hallways of that apartment complex! Oh, the humanity!

As much as you try to dismiss these people as being "wacky" for attempting to live a pious lifestyle, you fall short of articulating a reasoning, beyond your disbelief in their religion, for not accommodating their religious requirements. There have to be compelling reasons for an abrogation of the right to free practice of religion- and aside from being insulting, you haven't brought one forth.

Neilbert
06-20-2009, 01:30 PM
And blacks in the US were free to move to areas where Jim Crow laws were not so prevalent.

I was trying really hard not to play the "persecution complex" card, but if you are comparing a light switch to Jim Crow then you just need to get bent.

There have to be compelling reasons for an abrogation of the right to free practice of religion- and aside from being insulting, you haven't brought one forth.

The compelling reason is that you are forcing others to accommodate your religious beliefs, dumbass. Strangely enough it works both ways.

Or, alternatively, you could leave the lights on in the common area of the apartment building for one 12 hour period a week.

How lovely. One family gets to determine the rules for the common room. That just strikes me as all kinds of fair.

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 01:44 PM
I was trying really hard not to play the "persecution complex" card, but if you are comparing a light switch to Jim Crow then you just need to get bent.

I'm comparing them because, though not nearly the same in scope, they are the same in principle. If you have fundamental rights, and they are in some way infringed, you have a right to redress. The argument here is whether or not they have that fundamental right- and it's not a flippant argument, as you much as you might want to suggest otherwise.


The compelling reason is that you are forcing others to accommodate your religious beliefs, dumbass. Strangely enough it works both ways.

Sort of like how even in public schools with no hat policies, they allow yarmulkes and hijab? Sort of like how people in Pennsylvania have to share the roads with Amnish buggies that are a traffic hazard?

If those people don't like it, can't they move? Wasn't that your argument? They have no legal right to motion sensor lights to combat the legal right of the Orthodox Jewish family to free and unfettered practice of their religion. It does not, in fact, work both ways- unless someone wants to claim a religious imperative to using a motion sensor light.

How lovely. One family gets to determine the rules for the common room. That just strikes me as all kinds of fair.

It's not the rules for the common room. It's a simple question of whether or not the lights remain on all Friday night in the common areas of the apartment complex. The Orthodox Jewish family has no control over who is there for that time, what they do during that time- they simply want to have their religious beliefs honored. And if you're as concerned with fairness as you claim to be, why aren't you agitating for the fairness of allowing this Orthodox Jewish family the same opportunity as the other residents in the building to practice their religion? Is it because their fairness involves the "wacky" practice of leaving the lights on, but the other patrons have a religious right to motion sensors on a Friday night?

Neilbert
06-20-2009, 01:58 PM
Sort of like how even in public schools with no hat policies, they allow yarmulkes and hijab?

Yes, and that's bullshit. Hats are a distraction or they aren't.

Sort of like how people in Pennsylvania have to share the roads with Amnish buggies that are a traffic hazard?

In what way does this even compare? Buggies are legal on streets even if you aren't Amish.

It does not, in fact, work both ways- unless someone wants to claim a religious imperative to using a motion sensor light.

Only the devout should get to make decisions about public spaces. :rolleyes:

It's a simple question of whether or not the lights remain on all Friday night in the common areas of the apartment complex.

A decision about everyone's use of a common room gets to be made by one family, and you don't see anything at all wrong with that?

You know the funny thing? It comes down to belief vs belief. Conservationism VS Orthodox Judaism. I love how the religious feel free to piss all over secular beliefs, while demanding that secularists accommodate them. Apparently having an invisible sky man telling you things gives you the right to tell other people what to do.

I'm comparing them because, though not nearly the same in scope, they are the same in principle.

Everyone else in the complex has to pay extra money so that these people can be in good with god. It may be a very small amount of money, but like you say, it's the principle of the thing that matters. Unless it's used against you in an argument, then you decide it's only a few cents so it doesn't matter.

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 02:20 PM
A decision about everyone's use of a common room gets to be made by one family, and you don't see anything at all wrong with that?

Perhaps you can explain to me how this will change everyone else's use of the common area. As it stands now, with the sensor, if someone is in the area, the lights will be on (thanks to the motion sensor). If they are not there, they won't know or be impacted (except in small amounts of the energy bill) whether or not the lights are on (say, by someone else being in the hallway, or a cat being in the hallway, or a malfunction in the sensor). So what, beyond the energy bill, is the difference?

You know the funny thing? It comes down to belief vs belief. Conservationism VS Orthodox Judaism. I love how the religious feel free to piss all over secular beliefs, while demanding that secularists accommodate them. Apparently having an invisible sky man telling you things gives you the right to tell other people what to do.

Again, there are statutory and Constitutional protections of religion which are not necessarily extended to other beliefs. You can dislike that, but it does not change that.


Everyone else in the complex has to pay extra money so that these people can be in good with god. It may be a very small amount of money, but like you say, it's the principle of the thing that matters. Unless it's used against you in an argument, then you decide it's only a few cents so it doesn't matter.

I will repeat- there are statutory and Constitutional protections of religion which are not necessarily extended to other beliefs. These persons right to those few cents have been considered and weighed when the Parliament passed the laws which the Orthodox Jewish family are pressing suit under. They were deemed, arguably, to be less important. Take it up with the law, but don't continue to argue normative positions without some sort of legal justification.

Reasonable people can differ as to whether or not this is a reasonable suit, and a judge will rule eventually on this question. Simply saying they're "wacky" or denigrating religion in general by saying that the presence of a "sky man" to make it okay to do things doesn't in any way address the legal and constitutional aspects of this argument. Regardless of whether or not you think religion is worthy of protection, it is enshrined in statute and Constitution, and so it is accorded a great deal of protection.

Neilbert
06-20-2009, 02:30 PM
Perhaps you can explain to me how this will change everyone else's use of the common area.

How does leaving the lights on all day not change every ones use of the common room? I will admit it's a very small change, but we are apparently arguing principles here.

So what, beyond the energy bill, is the difference?

Forcing someone to pay for your religious beliefs is every bit as much of a violation of freedom of religion as anything else. Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion.

Take it up with the law, but don't continue to argue normative positions without some sort of legal justification.

Legal justifications can suck a fuck. Legal justifications are responsible for more atrocities in this world than probably any other single force.

Here's (http://www.krysstal.com/democracy_whyusa03.html) some interesting reading for you.

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 02:44 PM
How does leaving the lights on all day not change every ones use of the common room? I will admit it's a very small change, but we are apparently arguing principles here. Forcing someone to pay for your religious beliefs is every bit as much of a violation of freedom of religion as anything else. Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion.

You're the one arguing it's a change and it's unethical to force that change. Since you're taking that position, I ask again- aside from the energy bill, how does leaving the lights on for 12 hours every Friday night change the use of the common area for the other resident?

Legal justifications can suck a fuck. Legal justifications are responsible for more atrocities in this world than probably any other single force.

The law is the law. If you don't like it, work within the law to change the law. If there is no legal means to change the law, take your chances with your appeal to heaven- but stop making normative arguments and placing them above the actual law of the land. Either a nation is governed by laws, or it's governed by whim- which of those would you prefer?

Great strawman, though. Are we bordering on Godwin's probability ratio reaching 1?

Neilbert
06-20-2009, 02:46 PM
Please, point out the strawman. (There really needs to be a logical fallacy for the misuse of logical fallacies)

aside from the energy bill,

Why is this not enough? I thought it was the principle of the thing that mattered.

how does leaving the lights on for 12 hours every Friday night change the use of the common area for the other resident?

Ambient light, and they have to flip a switch to turn off the lights when they leave the room. That's a change, regardless of how hard you try to ignore it.

but stop making normative arguments and placing them above the actual law of the land.

No.

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 02:58 PM
I guess it's not technically a straw-man, but your argument about legal justification being used in atrocities was obvious sophistry, and I didn't feel like wasting any time on it- although I guess I should have termed it Guilt by Association- bad people used rule of law, so rule of law is bad!

And the crux of this argument, under the law, is whether or not there is a reasonable justification for the use of motion sensors balanced against the right of the Orthodox Jews to use the common areas of their apartment complex on the Sabbath. If the argument is exclusively about the money, then that's fine - but I don't know necessarily if I would balance them the same way you would, or if I would the same way a British judge would.

If it's just about the money, then the balancing test should be simple- are the savings from the motion sensor being on for 12 hours more a week than it would otherwise be on sufficient reason to abridge the right of the Orthodox Jews to the free practice of their religion?

Neilbert
06-20-2009, 04:07 PM
If it's just about the money, then the balancing test should be simple- are the savings from the motion sensor being on for 12 hours more a week than it would otherwise be on sufficient reason to abridge the right of the Orthodox Jews to the free practice of their religion?

The amount of my money you are allowed to spend to promote your religious beliefs is zero dollars and zero cents. Welcome to separation of church and state. (Of course, we are talking about england, but you brought up the constitution so w/e)

Suddenly it's a balancing test now? I thought it was a matter of principle.

Make up your mind. Are you claiming that there is no right to freedom from religion? And that this right does not deserve equal protections?

"Abridge the right of the Orthodox Jews to the free practice of their religion" is, at best, an incredibly slanted description of what is actually happening.

bad people used rule of law, so rule of law is bad!

That really wasn't the claim I was making. I intended more something like "the rule of law is not inherently good", but I will admit I didn't do the best job of making that clear.

hippie-joe
06-20-2009, 08:01 PM
For that one, you'd have to ask a rabbi, I think. Of course, if you ask two rabbis, you'll probably get (at least) two answers, so it may not be entirely conclusive.

i figured you'd get a joke out of that situation, i mean the beginning of that sounded like the start of a joke.

the silent speaker
06-20-2009, 09:28 PM
Suppose that I see those Jews walking towards me, and I move aside to let them pass comfortably. Then they have done just as much work (by impacting my optic nerve, triggering some brain cells and then activating my muscles) as they would do with that motion sensor. So, is it permitted for Jews to be seen on the Sabbath, and if so, why does that not violate the "no work" prohibition
Because when you look at a Jew on the Sabbath, you don't burst into flame!
Can you prove my ignorance?
If not, I'd advice you to refrain from ad hominems.
I refer you to every post you have made in this thread.

Additionally, in a previous thread you were asking Bible-connected questions and I noted that all of them were based on mistranslations -- in some cases gross mistranslations that strained credulity even for non-Hebrew-speakers.

Specifically to the question of Sabbath observance, Tractate Shabbat is 168 folios in the Babylonian Talmud, plus commentary. How much of it are you familiar with?

Finally, my comment was not ad hominem, as the post I cited was what was referred to as "idiocy", not you generally. I stand by that, as the portion of your post which I cited was utterly indefensible, and you had to know that when you posted it.

I know that "work" in this sense is just a religious fiction. It is precisely that religious fiction which I'm ridiculing.
So, if I understand your argument correctly:
1. There is a religious concept
2. An English word is being used to refer to that concept
3. The English word's meaning is an imperfect parallel
4. Your solution is... to change the meaning of the concept to better match the English word?

StrangePackage
06-20-2009, 10:56 PM
Suddenly it's a balancing test now? I thought it was a matter of principle.

Make up your mind. Are you claiming that there is no right to freedom from religion? And that this right does not deserve equal protections?

I don't know for certain, but I'd imagine that in England, they use the same basic types of tests for the limits of their Constitutional rights as they do in the United States, which involve balancing the practice of the rights against the degree to which those freedoms interfere with the freedoms of others or society at large- EG; the right to freedom of speech versus the making of bomb threats or shouting "Fire" in a theater.

So yes, there will likely be a balancing of the constitutionally and statutorily protected right of the Orthodox Jew to the free practice of his or her religion and be free from discrimination in the place where they live, and the right of the landlord to the use and enjoyment of his own property. How the court will come down, I do not know.

Your sophistry regarding freedom from religion is noted, and ignored. You are not forcing people to become Orthodox Jews by making sure that landlords accommodate their tenants, any more than blue laws which prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays makes people Christians, or having "In God We Trust" on our money makes us all theists.

Mat is Better
06-20-2009, 11:01 PM
My opinion: The Jews are free to get their own damn house. This isn't knocking Jews in any way. I just think that when you live on someone else's property, you should respect their rights to run their house/property as they see fit.

AND

You should find out what your living situation is going to be like before you move into a place.

Frenzy
06-20-2009, 11:33 PM
My opinion: The Jews are free to get their own damn house. This isn't knocking Jews in any way. I just think that when you live on someone else's property, you should respect their rights to run their house/property as they see fit.

AND

You should find out what your living situation is going to be like before you move into a place.
Replace "jew" with "disabled" and see if that changes your perspective of the legalities involved. (assuming the UK has the equivalent of the ADA.)

Uno
06-20-2009, 11:38 PM
My opinion: The Jews are free to get their own damn house. This isn't knocking Jews in any way. I just think that when you live on someone else's property, you should respect their rights to run their house/property as they see fit.

There are laws and such regulating landlord-tenant relations, so when you take in tenants, you can no longer simply run your property as you see fit. I imagine some of these laws are intended to prevent people from being barred from housing due to things like religion.

the silent speaker
06-20-2009, 11:41 PM
Replace "jew" with "disabled" and see if that changes your perspective of the legalities involved. (assuming the UK has the equivalent of the ADA.)
Or better yet, "black".

Mat is Better
06-21-2009, 02:13 AM
Replace "jew" with "disabled" and see if that changes your perspective of the legalities involved. (assuming the UK has the equivalent of the ADA.)

I'm not saying anything about the legalities, I don't know enough about those. I was just saying how I felt about it. I also think that laws pertaining to people catering to handicapped people are dumb as shit.

Don't get me wrong I will treat handicapped people as best as I can, and I have first hand experience assisting several handicapped people on a fairly regular basis. I just think the government should stay out of it. People should do the right thing because they want to, not because they are forced to.

Sometimes people consider me callous in regard to my views about things. The way I see it, I have my own problems, which I will not discuss on these forums and I don't expect people to cater to me. I do my best with what I can get or I do without. It sucks, but it's life.

JSUCamel
06-21-2009, 02:59 AM
I'm not saying anything about the legalities, I don't know enough about those. I was just saying how I felt about it. I also think that laws pertaining to people catering to handicapped people are dumb as shit.

Don't get me wrong I will treat handicapped people as best as I can, and I have first hand experience assisting several handicapped people on a fairly regular basis. I just think the government should stay out of it. People should do the right thing because they want to, not because they are forced to.

Sometimes people consider me callous in regard to my views about things. The way I see it, I have my own problems, which I will not discuss on these forums and I don't expect people to cater to me. I do my best with what I can get or I do without. It sucks, but it's life.

Unfortunately, most people aren't like you. If it wasn't for the government "getting involved", I'd never get a job -- they'd always pick a hearing person over me. Someone in a wheelchair would have a hard time getting around, because nobody would spend money to build ramps and elevators to accommodate them.

The government HAS to get involved to make sure that those who are unable to accommodate themselves can have the same rights as those who are fortunate enough to have normal hearing, vision, and motor skills.

To put it quite bluntly: if nobody forced businesses and organizations to accommodate disabled people, nobody would. They SHOULD, but they wouldn't.

I'm like you. I've got problems of my own. I'm hearing impaired (in a major way), I've had a liver transplant, and I've got other problems that I don't care to share with anyone here. I don't ask for hand-outs. I never have, and I never will. But what I will do is make sure that I get the help I need when I need it. I go as far as I can on my own. When I fall down, I get up. But sometimes people in my situation just can't move on without help from someone else. And most people wouldn't lift a finger to help me if they weren't forced to.

I get what you're saying, and I understand where you're coming from, but you're flat out wrong. The government has to get involved.

As far as these Jews, I agree with whomever said they should've investigated before they moved in. However, I believe the motion sensors may have been installed after they moved in, at which point, as tenants, they have certain rights and should be allowed to protest this, as Uno indicated.

I think this whole thing is being blown way out of proportion and shouldn't have even gotten to a courtroom.

GonzoTheGreat
06-21-2009, 05:03 AM
There is a test implicit in the language of 45(3)(d) which requires actor A to demonstrate the "reasonable" nature of this action in contrast with the perceived detriment to B. It is not, in my opinion, reasonable to say "Well, yes, this will impact orthodox Jews in a way that infringes their right to practice their religion, but I saved nearly 7 dollars last year in electricity bills!"It does not infringe their right to practice their religion. It only means that they have to decide whether to practice it in the strict way that they want to, in which case there are some limitations on what they can and cannot do (which is the case anyway with that strict approach) or that they ignore this issue.
They do have a number of alternatives, none of which is in any way blocked by the other home owners: they can stay in their holiday home, they can pass through that area holding bedsheets (the Mythbusters tried this out, and discovered that it does indeed stop such sensors from detecting you), they can go to their normal home for the Sabbath, or they can find another solution.
Finally, your legal analysis of the possible consequences is... well, bluntly, stupid. There is nothing about motion sensors that is, in and of itself, discriminatory. The only practice that the court was considering was the placing of motion sensor lights in the common area of an apartment building where an Orthodox Jewish family lives, without providing an alternative route to attend temple or an alternative to using the motion-sensitive switch to keep the lights active one day a week. That's it.Yes. For now. But if it is granted, then what precedent does that create?
Suppose that a synagogy is on a street with shops (I've seen that in Groningen, and I think other places too). Suppose further that some of those shops have motion sensor operated doors (not all that unlikely). Would they then have to chance their doors in order to allow orthodox Jews to pass by 'undisturbed' on their way to the Synagogue?
I do not think that is nearly as unlikely as you think.
Nothing in that ruling in any way, shape or form could be construed to prohibit the sale of motion sensors, the advertisement of motions sensors, or the use of pressure sensitive doors on shops.As far as I know, there's no ruling, yet. I am not even sure the court case has actually gotten started.
The point is, according to the laws of Britain, there's a good argument that they shouldn't have to move- that their right to practice their religion freely trumps the landlord's use of motion sensors for one 12 hour period a week.I am not sure there is a landlord at all. There are a bunch of owners of the other apartments in that building, and that's it.
However, because their stupid opinion is regarding their religion, it is entitled to much more protection than yours.Which of course runs into trouble just as soon as Neilbert declare "his stupid opinion" to be a religion too. As you no doubt already understood; this is a rather blatantly obvious problem in the "religion deserves special protection" scheme.
There have to be compelling reasons for an abrogation of the right to free practice of religion- and aside from being insulting, you haven't brought one forth.I have presented the possibility that some other tenants there may be fundamentalistic conservationists. I don't know that that's the case, but if it is: then how to balance the "save as much energy as possible" with the "waste some energy to indulge another religion"?
One family gets to determine the rules for the common room.It's not the common room. This is about the hallways and, presumably, the staircases.
Again, there are statutory and Constitutional protections of religion which are not necessarily extended to other beliefs. You can dislike that, but it does not change that.Does it change if I point out the United Kingdom actually does not have a Constitution at all?
And yes, with Anglicanism being the state religion there are special protections for Christianity.
If it's just about the money, then the balancing test should be simple- are the savings from the motion sensor being on for 12 hours more a week than it would otherwise be on sufficient reason to abridge the right of the Orthodox Jews to the free practice of their religion?A better question would be: does that free practice of religion by party A translate into an obligation for party B to spend some money?
In other words: could the law order you to pay for someone else's religion?

Of course, in this case party A did offer to pay the costs, which may or may not make a difference. If you want to, I can reformulate it as: could the law force you to let someone else change things in your house in order to accomodate that other person's religion?
Because when you look at a Jew on the Sabbath, you don't burst into flame!Neither does the motion sensor triggered light. So it would seem as though the examples really are very similar.
ou are not forcing people to become Orthodox Jews by making sure that landlords accommodate their tenants, any more than blue laws which prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays makes people Christians, or having "In God We Trust" on our money makes us all theists.However, if you start forcing people to make changes in their own homes in order to accomodate their neighbour's religion, then it might be a bit dicier.
... or having "In God We Trust" on our money makes us all theists.No, but it does make the atheists amongst you into liars.
But I'm sure there are no prohibitions against telling lies in the name of your God, or at least, no prohibitions against making other people tell those lies. :rolleyes:
You should find out what your living situation is going to be like before you move into a place.Sensible approach, and one that they apparently took (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/5550497/Jewish-couple-sue-neighbours-over-automatic-light.html):
The couple say they only moved into the flat in the spring of 2003 on the understanding that motion sensors would not be installed in communal areas.If that is true, then it very significantly changes the situation. If this claim is correct, then those Jews are entirely correct, and it is the other people there who are wrong.

This is a bit of information that was left out of the original article, and I am sure everyone can see that it makes a huge difference.
With it, their superstition is still ludicrous, but their indignation over having it violated is reasonable.

Neilbert
06-21-2009, 11:06 AM
Replace "jew" with "disabled" and see if that changes your perspective of the legalities involved. (assuming the UK has the equivalent of the ADA.)

Unless you are making a sick joke about Jews being mentally disabled I don't see how this compares in any way.

To put it quite bluntly: if nobody forced businesses and organizations to accommodate disabled people, nobody would. They SHOULD, but they wouldn't.

They aren't disabled.

You are not forcing people to become Orthodox Jews by making sure that landlords accommodate their tenants, any more than blue laws which prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays makes people Christians, or having "In God We Trust" on our money makes us all theists.

Blue laws and the insertion of religions iconry into our money and pledge during the red scare are both things that should never have been allowed to happen. "In God we trust" is a clear government endorsement of a religious belief, and easily violates the establishment clause, in spite of what a bunch of christian judges think.

Blue laws are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt for the religious to force their morality onto everyone else, and you are defending them?

How would you feel about laws forbidding people from selling meat on fridays during lent?

If that is true, then it very significantly changes the situation. If this claim is correct, then those Jews are entirely correct, and it is the other people there who are wrong.

Yup, but we've gone well beyond that if someone is defending blue laws.

GonzoTheGreat
06-21-2009, 11:11 AM
Unless you are making a sick joke about Jews being mentally disabled I don't see how this compares in any way.



They aren't disabled.Well, they are fundamentalists, you know.

JSUCamel
06-21-2009, 12:00 PM
Unless you are making a sick joke about Jews being mentally disabled I don't see how this compares in any way.

They aren't disabled.

Wow, Neilbert, you're so smart. I'm so blown away by your mental feats of stating the obvious.

If you had actually taken the time to read my post, you would realize that I wasn't talking to you and I wasn't talking about the Jews in this situation, but that I was, in fact, responding to Mat's post about how the government shouldn't help the disabled.

So kindly fuck off.

Neilbert
06-21-2009, 12:09 PM
Oh, well, I have no idea where I got the impression you were talking about the Jews in your post.

Oh wai....

As far as these Jews, I agree with whomever said they should've investigated before they moved in. However, I believe the motion sensors may have been installed after they moved in, at which point, as tenants, they have certain rights and should be allowed to protest this, as Uno indicated.

The government has to get involved.

I'm so blown away by your mental feats of stating the obvious.

It would be nice if it wasn't necessary.

the silent speaker
06-21-2009, 12:32 PM
Neither does the motion sensor triggered light.
The motions sensor triggered light bursts into light when they walk past. Surely you can't possibly be that dense.
With it, their superstition is still ludicrous
I have told you before that I find your gratuitous insults of my beliefs to be deeply offensive. Desist. Now. I will not ask again.

Unless you are making a sick joke about Jews being mentally disabled I don't see how this compares in any way.
I repeat: "or better yet, [replace 'Jew' with] 'black'."
How would you feel about laws forbidding people from selling meat on fridays during lent?
There is a clear difference between forcing someone to observe another's religion, or to violate his own, and forcing someone to accommodate another's religion. Even without your hypothetical law, a Christian who wishes to observe Lent is free to go about his normal Lenten business and, when he passes the butcher shop, not buy. By contrast, this Jewish couple is not free to in the normal course of their Sabbath observance go out of their building and, when they pass the motion sensor, not trip the light.
A better parallel would be a law forbidding people from forcing others to buy their meat on Lent Fridays. How would you feel about that law?

Neilbert
06-21-2009, 02:50 PM
There is a clear difference between forcing someone to observe another's religion, or to violate his own, and forcing someone to accommodate another's religion.

It was in response to StrangePackage's comment about not having a problem with liquor stores being closed on Sundays.

Liquor stores being closed on Sundays forces all the alcoholics to observe a Christian day of rest, just like butcher shops being closed on Fridays in lent would force non Christians to observe a Christian holy day.

What part of that is hard to understand?

I repeat: "or better yet, [replace 'Jew' with] 'black'."

I wasn't aware that blacks required any special accommodations.

There is a clear difference between forcing someone to observe another's religion, or to violate his own, and forcing someone to accommodate another's religion.

Religious assholes like you are always trying to blur the distinction between the two. Blue laws being a perfect example of this.

the silent speaker
06-21-2009, 08:45 PM
I wasn't aware that blacks required any special accommodations.
Google Brown v. Board of Education.

It happens that I am opposed to blue laws generally. But the couple in question is analogous to my law, not to your law.

Neilbert
06-21-2009, 10:36 PM
Those weren't special accommodations, those were the same accommodations provided to everyone else. Brown was about not giving blacks "special" accommodations.

It happens that I am opposed to blue laws generally. But the couple in question is analogous to my law, not to your law.

Yes, we all know that. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.

Because you somehow managed to miss it last time, I repeat:

It was in response to StrangePackage's comment about not having a problem with liquor stores being closed on Sundays.

Terez
06-21-2009, 11:00 PM
I live in an area of MS that is very light on blue laws. Beer can be sold 24-7, though liquor stores are 10a-10p Monday-Saturday. Bars can be open 24 hours (they close at 2 by law in most places in the south, I think), but there are public building smoking bans in a few towns on the coast (including mine, but the trip to the Biloxi border takes like 5 minutes). I think that light blue laws are characteristic of areas that are tourist designations (because we certainly don't lack for religious fundamentalists here).

40 miles inland you start hitting dry counties, though.

StrangePackage
06-21-2009, 11:04 PM
Those weren't special accommodations, those were the same accommodations provided to everyone else. Brown was about not giving blacks "special" accommodations.

And everyone is entitled to having their religious beliefs protected and accommodated, according to British law, and no person is to be disadvantaged in the practice of their religion by their landlords. That's the crux of this suit, and one that you've steadfastly ignored up until this point. Though, since you can understand that race is a protected classification for the purposes of discrimination, why you can't or won't understand that religion is a similarly protected classification is beyond reasoning. I have to assume it's based on prejudice.

They're simply asking for the same accommodations that all other religions receive. They lived there prior to the installation of the motion sensors, the motion sensors interfere with their free exercise of their religion (which, regardless of your opinion of any religion or theirs in particular, is protected by British law) and they are bringing suit to rectify it.

What about this is so difficult for you to grasp?

Frenzy
06-22-2009, 12:50 AM
Unless you are making a sick joke about Jews being mentally disabled I don't see how this compares in any way.
you have a line? That completely surprises me.



aside: i never associated blue laws and dry counties with christianity until this thread. i thought they were some random public safety laws, like not being able to buy fireworks. i must live in a cool county.

Neilbert
06-22-2009, 01:00 AM
They lived there prior to the installation of the motion sensors, the motion sensors interfere with their free exercise of their religion (which, regardless of your opinion of any religion or theirs in particular, is protected by British law) and they are bringing suit to rectify it.

What about this is so difficult for you to grasp?

Originally Posted by Gonzo
"If that is true, then it very significantly changes the situation. If this claim is correct, then those Jews are entirely correct, and it is the other people there who are wrong."

Yup, but we've gone well beyond that if someone is defending blue laws.

Are you retarded or something? I acknowledged that them living prior to the installation (and them checking with the landlord about it first) changes the situation completely.

Terez
06-22-2009, 01:03 AM
aside: i never associated blue laws and dry counties with christianity until this thread. i thought they were some random public safety laws, like not being able to buy fireworks. i must live in a cool county.
Apparently you live in a cool region of the country:

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/genealogy/images/thumb/2/2c/USA_Dry_Map.png/800px-USA_Dry_Map.png
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/Picture2-19.png

There's a lot of "no data" on there, but you can at least compare the west coast and the south.

Neilbert
06-22-2009, 01:04 AM
aside: i never associated blue laws and dry counties with christianity until this thread. i thought they were some random public safety laws, like not being able to buy fireworks. i must live in a cool county.

A blue law is a type of law, typically found in the United States, designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship or rest, and a restriction on Sunday shopping.

It's a pretty well known thing, though not widely talked about.

Washington recently changed the rules (liquor stores are all state run here) and allowed some liquor stores to be open on Sundays. Those few I was told by the employee I asked do a ton of business on Sundays. Guess it's a popular day to get your drink on.

and no person is to be disadvantaged in the practice of their religion by their landlords.

I'm going to start a religion that dictates that I stay home during the night of the full moon and bathe myself in moonlight so I can get a free skylight.

Frenzy
06-22-2009, 01:13 AM
no drinking and no shopping? Are they trying to bore you into going to church?

Neilbert
06-22-2009, 01:14 AM
Yup. That's the idea. In small enough communities nothing else would be going on, and you could be jailed for working, so what else is there to do?

Can't get that happy warm loved feeling you alcoholics get from lady liquor? Check out the warm loving acceptance of God.

GonzoTheGreat
06-22-2009, 03:56 AM
The motions sensor triggered light bursts into light when they walk past. Surely you can't possibly be that dense.Perhaps I can be. As far as I know, light is not fire. A glowworm can give off light without being on fire or bursting into flame. Most* lamps I've ever had gave off light without bursting into flame.
So I do not think that it is rational to say that switching on any light at all must necessarily be a matter of making fire.
Which leaves us with the rest of what happens: an optical sensor detects light (or changes in light), an electrical signal is send and some action is taken. That describes both the workings of the motion sensor triggered light and me seeing someone else and moving aside to let them pass.

So I do indeed think that the two cases are equivalent. Even worse than that: I believe that they are equivalent. Now, whose belief is to be given precedence here, and why is that person's belief more important?
You could of course argue that your belief is more believerish, because it is not based in reality. You'd be right about that, but I am not sure that figments of the imagination really do deserve that much special protection.
There is a clear difference between forcing someone to observe another's religion, or to violate his own, and forcing someone to accommodate another's religion. Even without your hypothetical law, a Christian who wishes to observe Lent is free to go about his normal Lenten business and, when he passes the butcher shop, not buy. By contrast, this Jewish couple is not free to in the normal course of their Sabbath observance go out of their building and, when they pass the motion sensor, not trip the light.Then let's use a somewhat different example: (partial) female nudity. There are religions which say that women have to wear all sorts of coverings (which parts have to be covered depends somewhat on the particular religion and the version of it that is used). On the other hand, (secular) underwear manufacturers are quite eager to advertise their products by showing life sized (or bigger) photographs of women wearing those things and nothing else (apart possibly from high heels).
Now, a person who adheres to such a religion could feel that he should not look at such a photograph, and thus that they should not be placed anywhere where he might legitimately come.
That too would seem to be a matter of accomodating that religion, not of forcing others to adopt it for their own. So, would this too be a reasonable demand, that no photographs of uncovered women be shown in public so as to not disaccomodate those that want to be spared that because of their religious beliefs?

If you say yes to the previous, then here's the next one: having women walk around in public in "insufficient clothing" according to those faiths. Should those women accomodate those believers, so as not to offend their religious sensibilities?
In other words: is there any reason not to make wearing burqas mandatory?

I admit this is a rather excessive way down the slippery slope. However, I would be interested in knowing where you think that this slope should be fitted with a barrier to prevent further sliding, and in order to make clear why such a barrier would be needed, I gave an example of the consequences if no such barrier existed.
Please note that in all my examples I assumed that no one is obligated to observe someone else's religion, only to accomodate it, as you yourself said.

* A computer monitor once suddenly started giving off black smoke, and it probably was burning a bit inside. When we pulled the plug it stopped, and we've never switched it on again.

Frenzy
06-22-2009, 09:04 AM
i agree that the couple suing have some crazy religious interpretations. But religious practices are protected by law, so there is the rub.

Personally, i'd love to see a Wiccan living in the same flat complex counter-sue on the grounds that energy conservation and other sustainable practices are part of their faith, and taking out the motion sensors deprives them of practicing their religion.

We had a similar case here in Santa Clara County, where one environmental family sued another environmental family because the defendant's redwood trees had grown and were blocking the plantiff's solar panels.

Zanguini
06-22-2009, 09:11 AM
burger king was the first store to do business here on sunday it came in in 94-95 untill then not even wal-mart here was open on sunday today about half the businesses open on sunday... I live in a town of about 5000 with 35 churches

I also live in a dry county... it is 25 miles to the nearest liquor store

JSUCamel
06-22-2009, 09:23 AM
My college town was in a dry county, but it didn't really matter because it was a suitcase college. Kids got trashed on Thursday nights, skipped class on Friday, went home friday afternoon and came back late Sunday night.

The lines at the liquor stores and gas stations around 2am Sundays (the cut-off time) were insane. Very amusing.

Terez
06-22-2009, 10:50 AM
One thing I hated about working at WH in Baton Rouge was bar rush. I wasn't used to that, coming from a place where bars stayed open however late they wanted to. Well, we got bar rush back home, but it was sort of a prolonged thing that lasted several hours. In Baton Rouge, all hell broke loose shortly after 2 am.

the silent speaker
06-22-2009, 12:45 PM
Perhaps I can be. As far as I know, light is not fire. A glowworm can give off light without being on fire or bursting into flame. Most* lamps I've ever had gave off light without bursting into flame.
It's like I'm talking to a brick wall. Hold still so I can bash my head against your face.

Belazamon
07-01-2009, 11:01 PM
I quit reading the thread halfway through.

Gonzo: I thought this was pretty damn funny. Kudos.

GonzoTheGreat
07-02-2009, 03:55 AM
Bela, you may have missed the place where I reversed direction, and started supporting the silly Jews, because they were actually right. Others did not seem to agree, but I thought that was a pretty funny bit of irony myself.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-02-2009, 08:46 AM
Nah, I always find it amusing when you argue against yourself, Gonzo.

Ozymandias
07-02-2009, 01:25 PM
Now, a person who adheres to such a religion could feel that he should not look at such a photograph, and thus that they should not be placed anywhere where he might legitimately come.
That too would seem to be a matter of accomodating that religion, not of forcing others to adopt it for their own. So, would this too be a reasonable demand, that no photographs of uncovered women be shown in public so as to not disaccomodate those that want to be spared that because of their religious beliefs?

If you say yes to the previous, then here's the next one: having women walk around in public in "insufficient clothing" according to those faiths. Should those women accomodate those believers, so as not to offend their religious sensibilities?
In other words: is there any reason not to make wearing burqas mandatory?


This is just silly. This couple was asking that the lights be changed in THEIR residence, not anywhere else. If your a Muslim woman and believe in wearing the burqa, and seeing people without them offends you, don't go out. Once your in the public sphere you forfeit most of those priveleges. But in the privacy of your own home you have the right to expect that your religious values are respected. In no way could this request impact any tenants or passerby (whereas if you liked to burn trash on the carpet, that might matter).

It just seems like the kind of thing a considerate landlord would do for whats obviously a quiet tenant.

GonzoTheGreat
07-02-2009, 03:22 PM
But this is not a matter of a landlord with tenants. This is a matter of a number of people who together own a building. Each has his or her own apartment, and general areas (stairs, corridors, elevators perhaps) are owned jointly.

So, to put it a bit more accurately: if out of 32 people who own something, one disagrees with all others about what kind of light switch should be used, should that one person have veto power?
And, to make it a bit more general: should each time anyone opposes any decision of the joint owners that decision be rejected?

The EU operates on that principle with a mere 27 members, and it is said to be a real problem even there. I don't see how adding another 5 voters with veto power improves matters significantly. Though I do have to admit that I'm sort of glad the EU can't override our national politics anymore than it already does.