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Jor-el

The White Covenant

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There is a series of books by an author called Ian Douglas, called the Star Carrier series, that introduced an interesting concept that was not only frightening but very easily possible in our future. It is called the White Covenant and it declares that a person’s religious beliefs are his own, and that proselytizing violates the basic rights of man. As such, these acts are considered illegal and compliance is forced by deportation from Earth.

It's also stated that the White Covenant was also only accepted after a mass brainwashing program centuries ago. The science of "Recombinant Memetics" grew out of this and is widely used to attempt to get masses to do certain things. Most nations were forced to sign the White Covenant severely limiting religious expression in order to join the Confederation which is the worldwide government of the time.

Here is a short taste...

The White Covenant had been enacted three and a half centuries ago, in 2074. That had been a chaotic and violent era of Earth’s history, one of global warfare between the Islamic world and the West. While a billion Muslims had been willing to live in peace with other religions, hundreds of millions more, ground down by poverty and illiteracy and the tyranny of local states, had grown up in breeding grounds for the more obnoxious forms of Islamic fundamentalism, of the sort that rioted and burned buildings and even burned whole cities over some perceived insult, or at the urging of some crackpot imam. The wars of the twenty-first century had been horrific, and hundreds of millions had died.

At the end, Islamic worship was permitted on Earth only under the provisions of the White Covenant, which declared that a person’s religious beliefs were his own, and that proselytizing—or using threats or warfare to force conversions—violated the basic rights of man. Those who disagreed had been forced to emigrate—to Mufrid, out at Eta Bootis, among other worlds.

http://www.amazon.com/Star-Carrier-Ian-Douglas/lm/R1LSL36HY8M9JT

So, what do you think, is this a legitimate possibility or is it merely a bad dream that will never be applied?

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With enough motivation anything is possible. Maybe not that exactly but something like it. People get feed up with having religion forced down their throats. I feel that anyone can pray to whatever deity they choose, just don't try to covert me.

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Proselytising can be nasty and abusive. If a religious person leads a good life and tries to help others, then others might wish to know what makes them tick. However, all to often the religious people with the loudest mouths tend to be those who don't do much to make life better for others around them!

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Not a bad idea. What about all the other motives for war? There should be a Comenant for those, too.

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Posted (edited)

persons religious beliefs were his own, and that proselytizing or using threats or warfare to force conversions violated the basic rights of man

That is actually one of the basic tenets of most Neo Pagan religions. We don't proselytize, because it may alter a persons true path. We just practice our religion and lead by example for the most part. People come to us seeking a connection with the Earth. Usually they been actually on a Pagan path without knowing it, so was we have no need to proselytize, the Earth calls them. Our circles and festivals grow bigger and bigger every year.

I think proselytizing usually involves deception from what I see is going on when it is done and it can be a violation of human rights and of course forced conversion is, too. I think India has anti proselytizing laws in place now. If the Islamists keep up their nonsense this might just happen. If one must use deception, brainwashing and force to convince people they should follow a religion and it can't stand on face value, then it must not a valid path, IMO

Edited by GreenmansGod
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Posted (edited)

Yet you are all making assumptions that you can practice your religion publicly, one of the conditions of the White covenant, is that religions becomes a personal issue, any external aspect of the religion, such as proselytizing must be abolished. Thus temples must also be abolished. Talking about religion is considered rude under any circumstances at all.

Debate Boards like this one would become illegal to say the least.

Edited by Jor-el

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Well in the States you have toss the Bill of Rights,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

At this time the closest thing we have to a world government is the UN. Which really doesn't have any power, but they have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a good document, but has no enforcement. Theocracies and despots just stomp all over it. In a true secular government religion and atheism is irrelevant, because religion or no religion is not the job of government. The job of government is the common good for everyone. Which are things like roads, protection from harm, parks, utilities, schools and civil law. The question is could the scifi story come true, sure, fascism happens. Not something I would want to see happen.

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.


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That is actually one of the basic tenets of most Neo Pagan religions. We don't proselytize, because it may alter a persons true path. We just practice our religion and lead by example for the most part. People come to us seeking a connection with the Earth. Usually they been actually on a Pagan path without knowing it, so was we have no need to proselytize, the Earth calls them. Our circles and festivals grow bigger and bigger every year.

I think proselytizing usually involves deception from what I see is going on when it is done and it can be a violation of human rights and of course forced conversion is, too. I think India has anti proselytizing laws in place now. If the Islamists keep up their nonsense this might just happen. If one must use deception, brainwashing and force to convince people they should follow a religion and it can't stand on face value, then it must not a valid path, IMO

I was thinking the same think along the lines of Freemasonry and the White Brotherhood. To join you must believe in God and freedom of religion, all of them no matter how bad because it is a freedom of man to choose. Learn your true path and help other men to treat each other like brothers and find God in a personal way to make the world better and overcome the injustice and evil. In fact you are encouraged to find a church to align with the practices of charity and has a positive effect on the community.

US was a great experiment with equality and freedom of religion, but it seems religions get too involved in their own peculiar dogmas and work against each other then with ond another. The new religion will be no religion.

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Such a concept does seem extreme. However it does bring up an interesting point.

It is called the White Covenant and it declares that a person’s religious beliefs are his own, and that proselytizing violates the basic rights of man.

Shouldn't a religious belief be their own in the first place? Shouldn't people come to religion purely under their own will and not by outside forces coercing, scaring or bullying them into it? And shouldn't that also apply to children as well? I find it rather disturbing when I see some people say they'll get their child into their religion. Shouldn't that be the child's free choice, to make when it's old enough to make the choice alone?

I could definitely see something like this coming in, in a much less extreme form. I can see religious schools being reigned in and stuff like that, and I don't really seethe point of street preaching and thelike because it can turn hateful and rude pretty quick. I think religions do certainly need to be reigned in to an extent though.

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Such a concept does seem extreme. However it does bring up an interesting point.

Shouldn't a religious belief be their own in the first place? Shouldn't people come to religion purely under their own will and not by outside forces coercing, scaring or bullying them into it? And shouldn't that also apply to children as well? I find it rather disturbing when I see some people say they'll get their child into their religion. Shouldn't that be the child's free choice, to make when it's old enough to make the choice alone?

I could definitely see something like this coming in, in a much less extreme form. I can see religious schools being reigned in and stuff like that, and I don't really seethe point of street preaching and thelike because it can turn hateful and rude pretty quick. I think religions do certainly need to be reigned in to an extent though.

Sure, religious belief is an entirely personal thing, but the expression of that belief is also a necessity, whereas such a restriction would ban the expression of that belief in its entirety.

I'm sure the author decided on the extreme for his books for the simple reason that to reign in the terror of religious fanaticism, governments would have had to be merciless in their approach. How can one be able to choose between who is a fanatic and who is not? It is much easier simply to ban the outward expression of any religious group.

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Sure, religious belief is an entirely personal thing, but the expression of that belief is also a necessity, whereas such a restriction would ban the expression of that belief in its entirety.

I'm sure the author decided on the extreme for his books for the simple reason that to reign in the terror of religious fanaticism, governments would have had to be merciless in their approach. How can one be able to choose between who is a fanatic and who is not? It is much easier simply to ban the outward expression of any religious group.

I guess it depends what you mean by expression doesn't it? A big problem is that religious people don't seem to take responsibility when they express their religion in a way that offends or harms another. In fact I've found that religious people will often express their religion in such a manner even with full awareness of this. This is something that needs to be combatted.

I agree it's much simpler to do that, but is the easy way the best way? Rarely. Religious groups need to take responsibility for the actions of fanatics in their midst and try to work to combat them, as well asworking to end the more problematic expressions of their religion. Unfortunately religious groups don't seem too willing to do that (on the contary) to the extent that sometimes I wish there was a quick fix asy way of getting rid of them all.

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I guess it depends what you mean by expression doesn't it? A big problem is that religious people don't seem to take responsibility when they express their religion in a way that offends or harms another. In fact I've found that religious people will often express their religion in such a manner even with full awareness of this. This is something that needs to be combatted.

I agree it's much simpler to do that, but is the easy way the best way? Rarely. Religious groups need to take responsibility for the actions of fanatics in their midst and try to work to combat them, as well asworking to end the more problematic expressions of their religion. Unfortunately religious groups don't seem too willing to do that (on the contary) to the extent that sometimes I wish there was a quick fix asy way of getting rid of them all.

The outward expression would be congregating as well as publicly preaching or missionary work of any kind, from soup kitchens to street evangelists.

Another aspect here that should be contemplated is that one cannot destroy fanaticism unless you actually eradicate them from the population groups they belong to and that would mean penal colonies for those that don't follow the law.

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Posted (edited)

The outward expression would be congregating as well as publicly preaching or missionary work of any kind, from soup kitchens to street evangelists.

Another aspect here that should be contemplated is that one cannot destroy fanaticism unless you actually eradicate them from the population groups they belong to and that would mean penal colonies for those that don't follow the law.

Congregating yes, street preaching no. Street preaching is just... ugh. I don't need to hear how I'm going to burn in hell unless I convert thanks. Like I said, throwing religion at someone like that just seems wrong. Last week I had to go to Birmingham for an exam and there were at least 4 street preachers and let me tell you I was so glad I had my mp3 so I didn't have to listen to them.

How an you be sure that's the only way?

Edited by shadowhive

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Posted (edited)

Some Pagans worship naked, outside in the woods. Do you think that would be ok with you in a park or the public beach? That is how they express their religion. Where do you draw the line? If you can stand on the street corner and shout at people all day then I can dance naked on the beach.

(**no I don't worship naked)

Edited by GreenmansGod

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As much as I'm annoyed by preachers this idea is kind of sickening - as many science fiction concepts are. I agree with the first premise, that it's entirely personal, and I agree with the idea that our religious or non-religious thoughts belong to us, but I can't agree that trying to reason or persuade someone out of a position is a violation of any human right. That to me is a proposition that opens the door to all kinds of abuse. We've already seen how politicians will try to marginalize their opposition in free Western society, not to mention in the authoritarian regimes of the 20th century. Hand them laws like this and the power to enforce them and any ideology or idea that falls out of favour with the powers that be will vanish.

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Posted (edited)

Congregating yes, street preaching no. Street preaching is just... ugh. I don't need to hear how I'm going to burn in hell unless I convert thanks. Like I said, throwing religion at someone like that just seems wrong. Last week I had to go to Birmingham for an exam and there were at least 4 street preachers and let me tell you I was so glad I had my mp3 so I didn't have to listen to them.

How an you be sure that's the only way?

This idea isn't mine as I explained, I am merely relaying what the author wrote in broad strokes, so it isn't that it's my decision, the context is the White Covenant within his books. Any outward religious expression is banned, and that includes congregating. They won't force you to give up your religion, but it does mean that you are simply removed from society and sent to a penal colony where you can express your religious beliefs to your hearts content.

Edited by Jor-el

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As much as I'm annoyed by preachers this idea is kind of sickening - as many science fiction concepts are. I agree with the first premise, that it's entirely personal, and I agree with the idea that our religious or non-religious thoughts belong to us, but I can't agree that trying to reason or persuade someone out of a position is a violation of any human right. That to me is a proposition that opens the door to all kinds of abuse. We've already seen how politicians will try to marginalize their opposition in free Western society, not to mention in the authoritarian regimes of the 20th century. Hand them laws like this and the power to enforce them and any ideology or idea that falls out of favour with the powers that be will vanish.

Quite true, the potential for abuse is astounding. The author introduces the concept of memes that can influence entire populations into a direction that the authorities want. The white covenant is a result of such manipulation for the good of humanity.

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Quite true, the potential for abuse is astounding. The author introduces the concept of memes that can influence entire populations into a direction that the authorities want. The white covenant is a result of such manipulation for the good of humanity.

Isn't that almost the definition of religion?

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Isn't that almost the definition of religion?

Well, yes and no, being that I do not think religion is meme but it can use memes as well, since they are built by people for people as such they can also be abused by the religious.

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Posted (edited)

Yet you are all making assumptions that you can practice your religion publicly, one of the conditions of the White covenant, is that religions becomes a personal issue, any external aspect of the religion, such as proselytizing must be abolished. Thus temples must also be abolished. Talking about religion is considered rude under any circumstances at all.

Debate Boards like this one would become illegal to say the least.

It would help, but to ask people not to bring to the public what they think good and right that have roots in their faith traditions is absurd. Though I would like something done about people who are abusive in how they present their beliefs.....this goes for atheist as well I would think....and in politics as well. This is not a religious issue, but one that has plague mankind most likely from the beginning. How to deal with those who believe, think and act differently.

Not agreeing is ok, and even good if it leads to some sort of communication that leads to further understanding of one another.

Peace

mark

Edited by markdohle

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