The discussions and comments on this subject have been fairly entertaining for me, but now I think it's time to move on to part 2.

The science of brain chemistry and genetics tell us much about why many of us humans can have tendencies toward spiritual beliefs, and why the genes that promote such beliefs/delusions. For instance, studies that link the DRD4 dopamine receptors' activities with spiritual beliefs show a trend for low spirituality, high scepticism, for people with below average DRD4 activity, high spirituality, low scepticism, for people with above average DRD4 activity, and people who are clearly schizophrenic having around 500 times above average DRD4 activity. I must stress the point about TENDENCY. There are clearly other genes, and environment, education and intelligence that will modify belief and/or delusions of imposable things. For instance, John Nash, the mathematician of the movie "A Beautiful Mind", suffered from schizophrenic delusions, but after years of treatment was able to function normally by intellectually rejecting the delusions.

So, given this knowledge which gives us an understanding as to how people can come to believe in miracles and other delusions of religious/spiritual sort. So when a church, Temple, etc.. promotes the belief in literal interpretation of their holy book, and of the miracles within it, should that church, temple, etc.., be held legally responsible for acts of violence perpetrated by members of their congregation?

What do you think?

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If a church or religion promotes violence or anti social behaviour then yes they should be subject to the laws of the land the same as anyone else.

A local nut case here in the deep north of queensland is trying to get the bible banned as it contains anti gay passages.

Again I have no problem with people believing in whatever they wish as long as no harm is caused to themselves or others.

As soon as there is harm caused then I think they should face the courts and laws the same as any other group company or corporation.
I don't think that religion should be banned. People should be free to openly believe anything they like even if those beliefs are damaging, violent, and heinous or simply idiotic to others.

Legislation should focus on actions, not thoughts or ideas, IMO.

That said, churches or other organizations should be legally accountable for their actions. If the church or organization is using it's authority to actively recruit members to conduct planned acts of violence then they certainly should be held legally accountable. I would think conspiracy laws suffice.
I agree with Skylar as well. I am fine with churches and all that as long they don't do anything. What does worry me though is the actual brainawashing often going on, but how can you call it a crime? Most people who accept it do it freely, they don't say "no no no I don't want to become a sheepable Christian!".
But what about children, who can not possibly give informed consent, or the mentally ill?
What about people being braindead who maybe would have preferred euthanasia but are kept alive because they cannot speak their will? It's the same thing, and I honestly don't see any good answer. Parents also have the right to some extent teach whatever they want to to their children, and that should include religion.
Of course.

Ultimately, the person who performed the illegal act is responsible, regardless of the institution, unless of course the leaders themselves wish to claim responsibility or is found directly culpable. Or say, in the case of the LDS church, faced with losing it's tax-exempt status unless they stopped segregating who, or who could not be initiated into the priesthood, changed that position (which is one case where I would endorse tax-exempt status to religion as leverage the state can use to pull them in line with secular law), despite the fact Mormon doctrine did not support such segregation. Weird.

You have a right in this country to be a blathering stark-raving idiot, as long as you're not depriving anyone of life, limb or property - what's your beef? Even if you can prove my 'sensations' of religiosity as some kind of mental-brain state, cool, but ultimately it's up to me how I interpret them.
I think it would have to be the individual held responsible. Religion for the most part is a controlled (mostly) delusion. It is monitored by the supernatural policeman (god). If this believer breaks any laws with their irrational thoughts then the courts will deal with them. There are, sadly, many people with mental health problems but society does not make them criminals for having that problem.
well i think church, temple etc should be held equally responsible because most of time they encourage people to do killings and stuff. for example, i am from india. in south india, communist terrorsits killed hindu leader. now the fanatic hindu organisation called VHP (Vishwa hindu parishad) declared that this act is done by christian and churches should be burned. soon hindus all over south east india started killing christians. now who is responsible? off course temple authorities are responsible!!
Yes! Absolutely right!




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