The USA Is Becoming More Secular in An Important Way (Despite the Pessimism of A Few of Us)

Until recently the term Acts of Gowas used to describe natural events (such as storms) that do harm in our lives.

I’m selling an empty lot I own and the contract I’m negotiating refers to such events — even in holier than anywhere else Texas — as Casualty Losses. 

That is progress!

We can now focus our efforts at sillinesses such as In God We Trust and Under God.

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Yes, acts of god, is used in many legal documents and insurance docs.  Legally, it is a term of art. (phrase of art)  It is a universal recognition of circumstances in which no human can be legally responsible.

In drafting a contract i would refrain from listing particular acts of nature but if i did i would use "including but not limited to the aforementioned acts of nature." But in law there is no reason to deviate and unleash one's inner iconoclast. It is more significant when theistic language is eschewed or removed from government or public utterances. In courts we no longer have to swear to tell the truth; we can affirm.  Now that is progress in terms of becoming more secular. 

Frankie, the only ones I knew of to use affirm were theists. Because swearing was against their religion  :)

The jurors or witnesses agreed to  " swear or affirm; etc .. the phrase " so help me God " was dropped twenty years ago. Around here anyway. 

Acts of god are one thing.  Acts of his putative representatives are quite another, especially when they turn to government interference and an attempt to maintain Christian privilege where it doesn't belong.

There isn't much you can do about the first, though climate change HAS to be addressed.  As to the second, there's a LOT we can do, and I mean to do as much as I can.

Loren, in your post you wrote the words “...climate change HAS to be addressed.”

I differ; it doesn’t have to be addressed. I don’t play trolleyology.

Tom, why do you use the term "trolleyology" in this incident? Climate change, which many believe is human-caused, as do I, "HAS to be addressed." To fail to act spells death and destruction for living things. If one takes action and we still die, at least one attempts to change the outcome. If many can be persuaded to take action perhaps climate change can be reversed. The probability is that we have reached the tipping point and there is no possibility of recovering life as we know it. 

Trolleyology means an action is justified if the intention is to harm one in order to spare five.

If the end is to save five by causing one to die then the means can be justified.

To do nothing means five will die, the observer will not take action to save the five, and the fat man survives.  

Joan, re “...HAS to be addressed”:

Of the several ways to rise to leadership, education and/or inspiration are more effective than the language of desperation.

Re my rejecting trolleyology as a method:

Testing a research method for validity and reliability is easier in the physical sciences than in the social sciences. Has trolleyology been tested?

As one of several tests for anti-social personality disorder it may have some value.

I do too, Loren, and the approach I take causes some non-believers to advise me to not be so disrespectful of religion. I think religion is silly and want my position to be known; if believers and non-believers don't use that approach, fine. I see no benefit to being smooth. I want my word to grate on them, to act like a grain of sand in an oyster. Maybe the conservative reactionaries don't want to be jolted but being gentle doesn't seem to cause them to stop and think.


kathy, in my state the witness is asked you swear or affirm the truth..

Hand on the bible and swearing in front of judge, jury and god is an affront to civilization.  So things have progressed. 

 This is a great pice of information! Thank you!




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