The First Amendment to the constitution of the United States, states that:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." : Source
There is no explicit mention and when it relates to the separation of religion and state in the Canadian constitution. Source
On March 23, 2017 motion 103, also known as M-103 was approved in the house of commons (in Canada).
As as CEO of a company, I really struggle with certain decisions that the government makes. I realize very well, that there could be a cost. A group of individuals may or may not understand where I am coming from and may choose not to purchase the product that I make. As well, selling to the enterprise has been one of my lifelong goals. Selling to the enterprise, not in the sense that I only want to make money. But, to work with the government in order to bring about successive innovations in governance and elsewhere. Working together, using reason, data and humanism as a lens.
Right now, the very act of criticism seems to be becoming alien in this specific part of Canada that I reside in.
It is, as if, my opinion doesn't matter.
That I don't have a voice.
The public is neither polled nor consulted on critical and important issues.
There is a whole series of issues that are critical to the life and well-being of the life of the citizen and the government doesn't even seem to possess the means to quantify what these issues are.
The two party, democratic system of representative democracy, tables and actions movements that gets buy-in from the local constituency. But this system is manipulable.
I think it is important to anticipate where all of these proposed bills are going? What will they evolve into? As well, what the impact of the evolution of these bills would be to the legal framework, in light of the reality that these bills could not only impact the secular value system of the federation (A secular value system that is practiced but not codified). But could also negatively impact the scientific research base, as well pose a grave risk to security.
Where is the quantitative analysis to back up the claims made in this bill?
Why was this bill passed in the first place? (Going back to the bullet points I have raised above). And now that the bill has been passed, it puts the legality of the constitution (the charter) into question. (See below)
And how will this bill evolve, in light of a reality that there is no clear separation of religion and state in Canada.
Relating to M103, there seems to be an accompanying petition E-411, which seeks to distance a particular religion from the more radical/strict/linear interpretation and application of that very religion's text.
If a law is so poorly cobbled up together that it is open to interpretation, then individual communities across the federation will exercise it how they deem fit. Invariably there will be those, who even though live in a wider Canadian institution will bend this law to promote their parent cultural and religious heritage.
Bad things happen in the dark, when there is no official policy that clearly separates the decisions made by the state and eliminates the mechanism through which direct and/or indirect influence could be exerted by groups not grounded in first principles.
The decisions made by the state, (in a democratic state should be representative of the will of the people) must promote and maintain constructs that seek to ensure the security, well-being and welfare of all. And not the adherents of an ideology. Not the ideology practiced by the few and not the ideology practiced by the many.
For a religious group of individuals, for them to seek to influence government, with the specific intent of passing laws that claim discrimination without evidence to back up that statement with, does not hold a lot of weight.
In light of the reality that there may be enough discriminatory memes floating and being practiced in any given religious community. Bill M103 is a negative and dangerous development that could evolve into the stifling of dissenting voices, of stunting individual thinking, of perpetuating the dangerous meme of group-thinking (hive-mind tendencies) that are not grounded in voices of reason.
And amongst other negative developments Bill M103 is a major restriction to the protection and enablement of free-speech.
Now, an individual, and/or a group must have the right to believe anything that they want to believe and practice. As long as the doing so does not harm (in any shape or form) the quality of life of an individual and that there is an option to opt-in and opt-out without repercussions. And, again, if the government's primary responsibility is to provide for the security, then the government must provide that service irrespective of + + (Read the charter). I'm repeating information at this point.
Coming back to bill M103 and how it could evolve, if the loose/unclear/open to interpretation of a law prohibits the criticism of a particular religion and/or a cult and that criticism becomes a crime. Then where does this lead this society?
It is important to note that a blasphemy law still exists in Canada and there is no data to evidence whether this law/clause has or has not been used in the recent past.
The way I understand it and my understanding in this domain is very little. But, 'Equality rights' are codified clearly and succinctly in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Source
Now, if a person or a group of individuals claim that they do not feel protected, that their well-being in every sense of the word imaginable (including but not limited to physical/psychological/emotional well-being) is not being guaranteed. Then, this development and if it can be observed quantitatively, posits the reality that the function of the government is failing at the protection of it's own citizens.
However, since there is no official clause in the constitution that neither protects nor prohibits the practicing of an idea (unlike the constitution of the United States, which seeks to separate the working of the state from religious affairs).
Since this is a gray and murky area and the law is loosely structured. There is some degree of probability that with the passage of time, the current system of governance is going to find itself in an increasingly difficult position and as it relates to defending it's security, while protecting it's freedoms and liberties.
Maybe there will also be this, what do you call it, hand-wringing. The wider body of the government may even abuse the rights of a citizen or a group of citizens. Then use taxpayer money to pay to this individual because their constitutional rights were abused. Irrespective of any crime, evil doing this person/group may have committed. This was witnessed recently with a case that has been on-going for 15 years and has now come to a settlement.
The way I see it, you have to draw a line.
In a Canadian sense, the framework of how laws should be architected in a platform that is neutral is not there or is being dismantled. This can lead to complications.
Invariably, there will also be those who will abuse this reality that no clause exists. This can cause further complications in a geopolitical sense.
And as no clause exists and as more time passes by, there will be negative hits on freedoms, on liberties, on peaceful dissent, on scientific discovery and on technological development and of matters related to security.
At it's core, the issue is one of principle. Logically speaking:
The lack of a clause in the constitution/charter, not unlike the First Amendment, that draws a clear line that separates religion and state, is a reality that leaves the Canadian federation vulnerable.
These vulnerabilities include, but are not limited to and in random order:
The balanced exercise of liberties, freedoms, humanism and marrying them with the breakthroughs enabled atop the scientific research base is more of an art than it is a science.
My personal take is that the nation/state model will, very quickly give way to a newer reality. But, for now, the precedent that M103 will set in motion, warrants vigilance.
The values, the institutions, the culture that Canada promotes has enormous potential.
It is disappointing to see the government pass laws which it either doesn't understand itself. Or if it does, then it fails to understand how the passing of these will have a negative/restrictive impact towards the security of the federation, the scientific establishment, towards it exercising it's soft-power. How the passing of this law actually works against enabling true reform and inclusion and for integration that is balanced and enlightened.
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to realize that M103 actually does the exact opposite of what may be the intended purpose. It is a bill that is going to lead to increasing polarization of opinions.
Also, M103 was passed and there was no wider debate or discourse. When the public was not polled. When members of other religious affiliations or no religious affiliation were not consulted.
I should stick with my rule-set. It's a design problem and in a Canadian context, the government simply listens to the voices grounded in non-reason that makes the most noise.
But these developments are not an incentive for someone like me, who, historically has/have been passionate about growth in an enlightened sense. And now, increasingly for the past 5 years, simply finds themselves (myself) jaded and uninterested in almost anything the government is doing, planning to do.
There are a lot of intelligent individuals in Canada, but if they work for the government, then polarization may be dumbing down their intellect. For some reason conformity is leading to the passing of laws that are ill-thought out or no critical thinking was leveraged at all.
To me, the structure of the Canadian government seems to be developing two separate and distinct hive minds. One representative of the voices on the left and one on the right.
I don't think that the representative democracy is working. I personally have reason to suspect that post (the government of) Jean Chretien the government, as an institution has been systematically lying about most major issues. About jobs, the changing nature of the workforce in light of automation, the local economies of large areas impacted with the disruption of commodities based sectors, the unstable and unaffordable housing market, new business upstarts.
So to quell the masses, the government, again, simply does what the constituencies want the Federal government to do.
This mutation of the design, if this theory is to be considered to be true, is leading to increased polarization. There seems to be a general inability to be able to define problems. As well, the most grave mistake may be the illogic through which the government ensures it's own well-being and ignores the intricacies necessary for ensuring the well-being of the larger ecosystem.
The elected representatives laugh at the common man and it's rare to see public servants putting in the hard work in order to ensure that the continuity of the federation occurs, while ensuring that the quality of life can be sustained if not improved. Here:
Without an amendment to the constitution that divorces religion from the workings of the state, such problems will remain.
Secularism (even though it is not codified in the constitution) becoming an after-thought will have grave consequences for this part of the world and the world at large.
An amendment to the constitution that divorces religion from state is what the Canadian federation should be focusing on in this domain. Only by doing so, can issues that are vital to the well-being of the federation be discussed using the lens of reason and rationalism. Otherwise, the communication breaks down.
At least when it relates to his 'simulation argument, Bostrom raises some strong points.
I've tried to come up with my own 7-point process of staged contradiction, in order to try and disprove the simulation argument. And, I cannot.
I am of the opinion that we must wrangle more with these particular propositions highlighted. And that we must expend the time/energy/resources in order to be able to further peer into the nature (fabric) of reality. As well, continue to unearth the mechanism through which we will continue learning about our consciousness.
The making of these comment, is not so suggest that I endorse Bostrom's opinion about a whole range of issues. In particular, the issue, the claim, that certain technologies must be deliberately retarted.
"I envision a future, where all of us will have access to teaching assistants like Jill Watson, anytime, anywhere, for any task. I envision a future, in which education will be accessible to all. But teaching and learning will also be personal and fun." Ashok Goel
Jill Watson mentioned in the media.