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Offline SocialConstruct

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Atheism and monarchism
« on: December 23, 2013, 04:07:42 AM »
Even though I think most people here are republicans, i.e. are in favor of a republic as opposed to a monarchy, I would like to ask this: is atheism incompatible with monarchism?

I believe that they are incompatible, because monarchism has historically based itself on the divine right of kings, something atheists are definitely opposed to.

Here in the Netherlands we have something called a "constitutional monarchy", which is a monarchy with a constitution and a "democracy". Even though this is sort of a mix between a republic and a monarchy, I believe that atheists should still be opposed to it, because it is still inherently undemocratic and a remnant of the absolute domination of religion in the past.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 04:09:50 AM by SocialConstruct »

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 04:17:36 AM »
Being from the UK, I think our monarchy has receded to nothing more than a fairground attraction. They're celebrity gossip for the broadsheets.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 04:20:47 AM »
And in Australia, technically under the rule of Bessie, it has even less relevance. I wish we could sever ties with the old dart once and for all.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 04:29:59 AM »
As to the OP, surely if enough of the citizenship cared that much about it they would be able to bring an end to any royal influence on Government. Isn't there something in the Dutch constitution that would achieve this?

It seems to me that if, as I suspect, the Dutch citizenry can currently vote in and out Governments that represent the vast majority of their interests, then in effect they do have democracy.

I think you're either looking for problems that don't exist, or looking for a perfect world.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 09:30:16 AM »
Historically only some monarchies purported to rule through divine right, such as in France, ancient Egypt, or Japan. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think England's monarchy went through periods of both divine right and no divine right.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 09:32:14 AM by Mooby »
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 10:45:52 AM »
Yes there was some claims of divine rights by some UK kings.

Living in Scotland, the Queen, in London, is an irrelevence. Sure she has to sign acts of parliment  into law but nothing else really. I'd quite like a Scotland free of monarchy but it isn't going to happen any time soon.
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Offline hickdive

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 11:46:29 AM »
I'd rather have a monarchy than what we are likely to end up with;

President Alex Salmond!
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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 11:52:28 AM »
Atheism lacks religion's utility as a tool for manipulation by monarchs, but I don't think it is fundamentally incompatible with monarchy. Also, I think that North Korea, an officially atheist state, can reasonably be described as a monarchy.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 12:31:02 PM »
I'd rather have a monarchy than what we are likely to end up with;

President Alex Salmond!

Actaully, no. We get to keepn the queen whether we vote yes of no. As for Salmond - he can always be voted out if you don't like him.

Either way, I'd rather not have any more the Tories ruling from London.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline hickdive

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2014, 06:35:27 AM »
Actaully, no. We get to keepn the queen whether we vote yes of no. As for Salmond - he can always be voted out if you don't like him.

Either way, I'd rather not have any more the Tories ruling from London.

Well, I never voted for him to be FM but I still got him, that's how democracy works. If you don't like the Tories at Westminster - vote them out. Labour governments in London have always relied upon Scottish seats.

The Queen might remain the head of state of an independent Scotland but Salmond would have 18 months after a Yes vote to write himself a constitution that creates a de-facto presidency which he would inherit on "independence" day as it would be another couple of months before the next scheduled Holyrood election.

March 2016 coincides nicely with the dissolution of Holyrood in anticipation of the election and the traditional purdah of the civil service. Leaving our newly-installed president with a politically free hand.

These dates and timescales haven't been plucked from thin air by the SNP; they have been carefully chosen to stifle democracy whilst giving the illusion that it remains functional.

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 08:21:27 AM »
Even though I think most people here are republicans, i.e. are in favor of a republic as opposed to a monarchy,
I'm not. I see a monarch as essential for the unity of a state. Somewhere, I posted a list of the happiest countires in Europe (or the World, I forget). Anyway, it turns out that monarchies are happier places.

Quote
I would like to ask this: is atheism incompatible with monarchism?
Yes. There is very little that is not compatible.

Quote
I believe that they are incompatible, because monarchism has historically based itself on the divine right of kings, something atheists are definitely opposed to.
The divine right of kings is a relatively recent imposition and a generally stupid idea introduced by the Christian church and has absolutely nothing to do with the position of the monarch. A monarch is there by right of conquest and inheritance.

If your father had fought for a piece of land and had won, does he not have the right to hand it on to you in his will?

I am not seeing your logic here.

Quote
Here in the Netherlands we have something called a "constitutional monarchy", which is a monarchy with a constitution and a "democracy". Even though this is sort of a mix between a republic and a monarchy, I believe that atheists should still be opposed to it, because it is still inherently undemocratic and a remnant of the absolute domination of religion in the past.

What do you think?
First, you have to link atheism and democracy, and you have not done that. Even if you could, and I doubt it, I think the Netherlands is a happy, wealthy country with most reasonable laws and customs. Its citizens are well-educated, healthy and, for the most part comfortable. What is your problem? You perhaps want a polarised society in which half the population hate the president and the other half think he is a god? And the arguments break out at every presidential election and continues to the next.

If the monarch is constitutional and the president is constitutional, where's the difference?


Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 09:16:18 AM »
I'm not. I see a monarch as essential for the unity of a state. Somewhere, I posted a list of the happiest countires in Europe (or the World, I forget). Anyway, it turns out that monarchies are happier places.

I don't really agree with the bolded statement here.
How does a monarchy provide unity?
As we can see on this thread and by the proposed referendum nationalism is definitely on the rise in Scotland.
Surely unity and happiness are the product of a healthy democracy and prosperous society rather than a feudal system of government.
 

The divine right of kings is a relatively recent imposition and a generally stupid idea introduced by the Christian church and has absolutely nothing to do with the position of the monarch. A monarch is there by right of conquest and inheritance.

If your father had fought for a piece of land and had won, does he not have the right to hand it on to you in his will?

I am not seeing your logic here.

Yep the divine right is silly.

So is the right of might.

What if it wasn't your father that fought for a piece of land and won, not even your grandfather but some bloke hundreds of years ago to whom you are barely related.

Not only that, if the land isn't mentioned in the will or even known about by the father/grandfather etc bona vacantia ensures that property (both real and personal) that was paid for by someone else will end up in the crowns portfolio.

Is this fair in a modern society?


If the monarch is constitutional and the president is constitutional, where's the difference?

I can think of a couple.
1. The cost. Our non elected head of state and her family cost approximately 202.4 million to the tax payer from the civil lists and lost revenue.[1] with the presidencies in France, Germany, Finland, Austria and Ireland coming in at 90, 21, 11.5, 3.5 and 1.8 million respectively[2] I don't think we get much bang for our tax bucks.
2. We are supposed to be a democracy with the ability to vote for our leaders. An unelected head of state is an unaccountable head of state. mercifully Liz isn't politically active but if she were there wouldn't really be anything we could do about it without a lot of political reform. 


 1. lists of funding can be found at www.royal.gov.ukwww.princeofwales.gov.ukwww.duchyofcornwall.orgwww.duchyoflancaster.comhttp://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snsg-0819.pdfhttp://safalra.com/other/historical-uk-inflation-price-conversion
 2. http://media.rtl.nl/media/actueel/rtlnieuws/2012/Monarchie2011FIN.pdf sorry this report is in Dutch, maybe Fiji can confirm the figures?

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 10:33:15 AM »
I'm not. I see a monarch as essential for the unity of a state. Somewhere, I posted a list of the happiest countries in Europe (or the World, I forget). Anyway, it turns out that monarchies are happier places.

I don't really agree with the bolded statement here.
How does a monarchy provide unity?
A monarch provides unity by being above politics and political squabbles. A monarch embodies the Kingdom not its politicians.
Quote
As we can see on this thread and by the proposed referendum nationalism is definitely on the rise in Scotland.
Scottish independence is a serious matter and nothing to do with the monarchy. The Scottish Nationalists are led by a rabble-rousing, vacuous ar*ehole who has painted himself into a corner. Were it not for the fact that I like the Scots, I would say to Alex Salmond, "OK, there you are: you're cut off. There'll be a border and no financial help for you. All government institutions, public servants and industry closes tomorrow and relocates to Wales, Ulster or England. Where's the money you owe us? Now have your referendum."

Salmond says he wants to join the Nordic Union (basically, Scandinavia.) A couple of reasonably high-ranking Scandinavian government officials I know just laughed at the idea and said they don't want Scotland.

Would anyone in their right mind want Salmond as president? But he'd be the candidate.

I do accept that the Scots are poorly represented as a nation at Westminster, however, the number of people in England who did not vote for the current regime exceeds their number many times, so that argument is out the window. I am British first and English second. If we look at the constituent nations of the United Kingdom, we can see them as the same make and model of car, but simply painted different colours. The monarch's job is to be pleased with all the colours - and this is what our monarchs have done. The politician's job is seemingly to moan about every car and every colour.

Quote
Surely unity and happiness are the product of a healthy democracy and prosperous society rather than a feudal system of government.
I'm sorry. That statement contains so many errors that it is not even wrong...
 
Quote
Yep the divine right is silly.

So is the right of might.

What if it wasn't your father that fought for a piece of land and won, not even your grandfather but some bloke hundreds of years ago to whom you are barely related.

1. So, I suggest that the US and Canada give everything back to the Indigenous Peoples forthwith? You know, those Indigenous People who did not have democracy but did have the equivalent of a monarchy.

2. So... Let's assume that your family have lived in the same house for 400 years -> who do you think owns the house? And whoever owned the land but was killed by your ancestor to get it, who are his descendants? And how did he get it? How do you "give it back"? No. The law is entirely satisfactory as far as inheritance is concerned, we have had a few thousand years to get it right.

Quote
Not only that, if the land isn't mentioned in the will or even known about by the father/grandfather etc bona vacantia ensures that property (both real and personal) that was paid for by someone else will end up in the crowns portfolio.
I am not sure where you live but in the UK, all land is registered and owned. If you die intestate and without traceable heirs, then, yes, everything reverts to the Crown: But what happens in reality is the proceeds from the estate go to the Treasury to be used for the benefit of all the citizens of the UK. What's your alternative?

Quote
Is this fair in a modern society?
Yes. What is your alternative?


Quote
If the monarch is constitutional and the president is constitutional, where's the difference?

I can think of a couple.
1. The cost. Our non elected head of state and her family cost approximately 202.4 million to the tax payer from the civil lists and lost revenue with the presidencies in France, Germany, Finland, Austria and Ireland coming in at 90, 21, 11.5, 3.5 and 1.8 million respectively. I don't think we get much bang for our tax bucks.
2. We are supposed to be a democracy with the ability to vote for our leaders. An unelected head of state is an unaccountable head of state. mercifully Liz isn't politically active but if she were there wouldn't really be anything we could do about it without a lot of political reform.
[/quote]

Well, who is the tight-fisted scrooge who is whining about £200 Million in a country of 60 Million? That is £0.01p a day per person. I tell you what, I'll pay your share. It works out at the price of a pint of beer once a year. Claim your beer when you see me.

What is sadly missing is the cost of a Presidential election. The last UK General Election cost £113,255,271. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-04-27b.52102.h HRH Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 62 years = 12 - 15 Presidential elections at a real cost of about £1 Billion. And Presidents aren't free. Whatever they cost per annum, we can subtract that from the Monarch's cost.

And often it is not the monarch that costs, it's the hangers-on. but this situation is not quite as clear-cut as some people would have you believe.

And now you speak of "Democracy" Name one president of the USA who was not very wealthy. All they do is vote in a rich person. There is no democracy there. Let's look at other countries: how do they choose presidents? Do political parties put them forward? So, for president you usually get a rich politician.

No. I am entirely happy with the monarchy. I would suggest to those with lesser constitutional systems that they give serious thought to adopting a monarch. Even if the Prime Minister is an idiot, at least there's a monarch heading your country.

And as far as that antipodean traitor magicmiles is concerned: do you seriously want an Australian politician heading up your country? Here's the prime candidate: Sir Les Patterson

« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 10:44:16 AM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 10:50:19 AM »
Historically only some monarchies purported to rule through divine right, such as in France, ancient Egypt, or Japan. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think England's monarchy went through periods of both divine right and no divine right.
Divine right is a bit of a red-herring: first you have to get to be king/queen, then you claim the right. So the system goes:
1. Marry off your sons and daughters to amass land
2. Slaughter those who refuse to cooperate and claim their land
3. Thus unite your province and then country
4. Become king over all
5. Order the compliant church to state you have a divine right to rule. (there is a Bible passage that supports this...)
(6. If you are Henry VIII tell Rome to stick it and become Head of the Church that confirms that you have a divine right to rule.)
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 11:57:03 AM »
I'm not. I see a monarch as essential for the unity of a state. Somewhere, I posted a list of the happiest countries in Europe (or the World, I forget). Anyway, it turns out that monarchies are happier places.

I don't really agree with the bolded statement here.
How does a monarchy provide unity?
A monarch provides unity by being above politics and political squabbles. A monarch embodies the Kingdom not its politicians.

What do you mean by kingdom?
Do you mean the subjects of the kingdom? If so I don't think that the monarchy is the embodiment of it's subjects.

As we can see on this thread and by the proposed referendum nationalism is definitely on the rise in Scotland.
Scottish independence is a serious matter and nothing to do with the monarchy. The Scottish Nationalists are led by a rabble-rousing, vacuous ar*ehole who has painted himself into a corner. Were it not for the fact that I like the Scots, I would say to Alex Salmond, "OK, there you are: you're cut off. There'll be a border and no financial help for you. All government institutions, public servants and industry closes tomorrow and relocates to Wales, Ulster or England. Where's the money you owe us? Now have your referendum."

Salmond says he wants to join the Nordic Union (basically, Scandinavia.) A couple of reasonably high-ranking Scandinavian government officials I know just laughed at the idea and said they don't want Scotland.

Would anyone in their right mind want Salmond as president? But he'd be the candidate.

I do accept that the Scots are poorly represented as a nation at Westminster, however, the number of people in England who did not vote for the current regime exceeds their number many times, so that argument is out the window. I am British first and English second. If we look at the constituent nations of the United Kingdom, we can see them as the same make and model of car, but simply painted different colours. The monarch's job is to be pleased with all the colours - and this is what our monarchs have done. The politician's job is seemingly to moan about every car and every colour.

You say that a monarch brings unity. I have used the Scottish referendum as an example of where there seems to be discord in the UK.

Surely unity and happiness are the product of a healthy democracy and prosperous society rather than a feudal system of government.
I'm sorry. That statement contains so many errors that it is not even wrong...

Ok.
 
Yep the divine right is silly.

So is the right of might.

What if it wasn't your father that fought for a piece of land and won, not even your grandfather but some bloke hundreds of years ago to whom you are barely related.

1. So, I suggest that the US and Canada give everything back to the Indigenous Peoples forthwith? You know, those Indigenous People who did not have democracy but did have the equivalent of a monarchy.

2. So... Let's assume that your family have lived in the same house for 400 years -> who do you think owns the house? And whoever owned the land but was killed by your ancestor to get it, who are his descendants? And how did he get it? How do you "give it back"? No. The law is entirely satisfactory as far as inheritance is concerned, we have had a few thousand years to get it right.

Its not really the same is it. Now if the indigenous peoples of Canada and the US had their land owned by 1 family who's ancestor took it from them there might be a comparison.

I'm not questioning the laws of inheritance in this instance, just the single aspect of bona vacantia. Yes we have been modifying the law for thousands of years, its time this one was repealed as a relic.
 

Not only that, if the land isn't mentioned in the will or even known about by the father/grandfather etc bona vacantia ensures that property (both real and personal) that was paid for by someone else will end up in the crowns portfolio.
I am not sure where you live but in the UK, all land is registered and owned.


I live in the midlands, not far from you

I am aware of the land registry and the LPA 1925. However this is not the issue that I mentioned in the quote above.

If you die intestate and without traceable heirs, then, yes, everything reverts to the Crown: But what happens in reality is the proceeds from the estate go to the Treasury to be used for the benefit of all the citizens of the UK. What's your alternative?

Is this fair in a modern society?
Yes. What is your alternative?


Give it to someone else. The state, the local council, a charity for homeless people just not the crown. Although the money from intestate property can go back into the public pot this is an option not a requirement. Charles gives the bona vacantia revenue to charity. He doesn't have to, but I'm sure I would be more munificent if I were given free money for doing nothing.


If the monarch is constitutional and the president is constitutional, where's the difference?

I can think of a couple.
1. The cost. Our non elected head of state and her family cost approximately 202.4 million to the tax payer from the civil lists and lost revenue with the presidencies in France, Germany, Finland, Austria and Ireland coming in at 90, 21, 11.5, 3.5 and 1.8 million respectively. I don't think we get much bang for our tax bucks.
2. We are supposed to be a democracy with the ability to vote for our leaders. An unelected head of state is an unaccountable head of state. mercifully Liz isn't politically active but if she were there wouldn't really be anything we could do about it without a lot of political reform.

Well, who is the tight-fisted scrooge who is whining about £200 Million in a country of 60 Million? That is £0.01p a day per person. I tell you what, I'll pay your share. It works out at the price of a pint of beer once a year. Claim your beer when you see me.
Aside from the fact that not all 60 million contribute to the public purse the issue isn't the amount, its the cost in comparison to other countries heads of state.
We could get a head of state cheaper than the one that we currently have and use the savings elsewhere.

I'll have a pint of Tipsy Fisherman please.

What is sadly missing is the cost of a Presidential election. The last UK General Election cost £113,255,271. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-04-27b.52102.h HRH Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 62 years = 12 - 15 Presidential elections at a real cost of about £1 Billion. And Presidents aren't free. Whatever they cost per annum, we can subtract that from the Monarch's cost.

And often it is not the monarch that costs, it's the hangers-on. but this situation is not quite as clear-cut as some people would have you believe.

I hadn't thought about the election costs, would this be balanced out by the savings made on royal events, weddings, coronations, jubilees, general walkabouts and the like?

But yes the hangers on do contribute to a lot of the cost. This is the problem with having a family in this position. All of them need protection, 5 star treatment and an income. We pay this for what gain?

And now you speak of "Democracy" Name one president of the USA who was not very wealthy. All they do is vote in a rich person. There is no democracy there. Let's look at other countries: how do they choose presidents? Do political parties put them forward? So, for president you usually get a rich politician.

No. I am entirely happy with the monarchy. I would suggest to those with lesser constitutional systems that they give serious thought to adopting a monarch. Even if the Prime Minister is an idiot, at least there's a monarch heading your country.

And as far as that antipodean traitor magicmiles is concerned: do you seriously want an Australian politician heading up your country? Here's the prime candidate: Sir Les Patterson

True you usually do get a rich politician. At least it isn't a position for life in their case, no matter how senile they become or how obnoxious their spouse and offspring are.
With the exception of Bush & Bush 2 president isn't a hereditary title that is passed on no matter how incompetent the heir.

And no, I doubt even the Australians really want Patterson as head of state.

edit to for quotes
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 12:12:12 PM by Mrjason »

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2014, 11:33:19 AM »
A monarch provides unity by being above politics and political squabbles. A monarch embodies the Kingdom not its politicians.

What do you mean by kingdom?
The area ruled by a monarch and all that is within.
Quote
Do you mean the subjects of the kingdom? If so I don't think that the monarchy is the embodiment of its subjects.
I spent a lifetime interviewing the subjects of heads of state. These people had found themselves at odd with the actions of the government. However, to a man, they all said that the leader (unelected president/king) was a fine chap but had been led astray by scheming politicians. If the president had been elected, then they all felt that this man had reached that position by corruption and was vile.

This is the unity that the permanency a monarch embodies: Everything from him is down-hill. He is the country as it should be.

Now, this was often an illusion but, nevertheless, it was there. This is pragmatism.

You say that a monarch brings unity. I have used the Scottish referendum as an example of where there seems to be discord in the UK.
The questions are,
1. “Does an independent Scotland wish to be a member of the Commonwealth?”
2. “Are those Scots that want a republic justified? Or are they basing their opinions and mindless nationalism.”
3. You know as well as I that where there is a football match on TV between Tajikistan and England, any Scots in the audience will support Tajikistan. But you know also the contribution to the Union that the Scots have made inside and outside Scotland and you know their final loyalty to the Union: a loyalty driven by the understanding that all members of the UK have of “United we stand.”

On the question of all property reverting to the Crown on intestacy and untraceable heirs.

I'm not questioning the laws of inheritance in this instance, just the single aspect of bona vacantia.

Give it to someone else. The state, the local council, a charity for homeless people just not the crown. Although the money from intestate property can go back into the public pot this is an option not a requirement. Charles gives the bona vacantia revenue to charity. He doesn't have to, but I'm sure I would be more munificent if I were given free money for doing nothing.
I can’t see that your argument holds water. (i) The land has to go to someone, doesn’t it? Whatever happens to the land someone will make money out of it. The Crown is neutral. The Crown is well-defined. What is a charity? Anyone can start a charity. Why the local council? What makes them so honest – bent councillors are 10 a penny? Why do you think “homeless people” deserve more that orphans or the mentally ill? Can you see the arguments, whereas now we accept, shrug and say, “at least the law is clear.” (ii) You cannot believe that Her Majesty rubs her hands each time The Crown inherits ownerless land. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/bona-vacantia genuine efforts are made to trace ownership in a well-established manner. It is fair to us all and it works. You wish to defeat the system? Make a will – Simples!


I'll have a pint of Tipsy Fisherman please.
This alone should disqualify you from having an opinion on anything. Marston’s Bitter is the only drink.


I hadn't thought about the election costs, would this be balanced out by the savings made on royal events, weddings, coronations, jubilees, general walkabouts and the like?
Presidents do walkabouts, etc. The rest of the functions bring in vast millions by way of tourism.

And don’t forget – when that money is spent, it goes straight into our economy, doesn’t it?

OK, It is in the Torygraph, but this is an interesting article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/9975944/Youve-been-worth-every-penny-of-the-Civil-List-Maam.html


But yes the hangers on do contribute to a lot of the cost. This is the problem with having a family in this position. All of them need protection, 5 star treatment and an income. We pay this for what gain?
The Civil List has been reduced. Those now on it are basically “Trade Delegates.” And on the subs’ bench for HM Queen.

However, the vast majority goes not to these people, but to those directly employed by the Crown http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10391693 click the tabs on the second graph.


And With the exception of Bush & Bush 2 president isn't a hereditary title that is passed on no matter how incompetent the heir.
 
Let us imagine the perfect ruler: the benevolent dictator. His sole purpose is to make us equal and happy… it’s not going to happen is it? Why? Because, under the present system, the richer and more powerful you are, the more your ideas are heard, leaving behind an increasing number of poor and disenfranchised who are never heard. It is said that this is “all for our own good”, yet the gap between rich and poor increases.

How did we reach this state of affairs? Usually, by the rich donating and expecting something in return. So, let’s look at the unelected powers in the UK:
The Judges
The House of Lords
The Crown

Do you want elected judges? Do you want someone who is not bothered what politicians say only what the law says? The judges may be accused of many things but they are neutral and from this comes their fairness.
The House of Lords: Why was it reformed years back? Because the Lords did not like government. It was above politics, it was above venal politicians, and it had no reason to be dishonest, deceptive, favour one instead of another.

Why is it packed every year with what the government of the day thinks will be its lackeys? Because it was independent and neutral and from this comes their fairness.
The Crown: It is above politics, it is above venal politicians, it is above business and power, it has no reason to be dishonest, deceptive, favour one instead of another.

In simple terms, if it works, don't fix it.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:28:00 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline hickdive

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2014, 08:04:13 AM »
Just to clarify a couple of points.

Bona Vacantia applies to heritable  property held by corporate bodies that have ceased to exist and the liquidators or trustees have no interest in on behalf of creditors; or the liquidators etc. cannot be traced. Where an individual person dies intestate and no successors can be found under normal intestacy rules then their assets including heritable property fall to the crown as Ultimus Haeres. That is to say it becomes the property of the Crown Estate.

However, that does not mean that it becomes the property of the Royal Family. The Royal Family handed over the whole of the Crown Estate to the nation many years ago in return for funding via the Civil List. So all money raised by the Crown Estate goes the UK Treasury and not the Royal Family.

As for the monarchy being a divisive issue in the Scottish Independence referendum - it basically isn't. Salmond's proposal is that Scotland would retain the Monarchy. It is technically, the Scottish Monarchy that inherited the English Monarchy in 1603 after all. Theoretically on independence the Queen could renounce the Scottish Monarchy. That would leave it vacant, which would suit Salmond as he could have himself installed as president of the new People's Republic of Scotland or perhaps he might just decide to be proclaimed King Alexander IV.

In any event, Salmond knows that ditching the Monarchy would be a certain vote loser in the referendum (for various reasons to complex to explain here) and he will cynically use anything to promote his agenda or at least not harm it. That's why his demand for independence isn't based on the idea of freedom or righting a historic wrong or ending a vile, oppressive  regime, it is apparently based on securing extra childcare for out of work single parents.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 07:37:46 PM »
Just to clarify a couple of points.

Bona Vacantia applies to heritable  property held by corporate bodies that have ceased to exist and the liquidators or trustees have no interest in on behalf of creditors; or the liquidators etc. cannot be traced. Where an individual person dies intestate and no successors can be found under normal intestacy rules then their assets including heritable property fall to the crown as Ultimus Haeres. That is to say it becomes the property of the Crown Estate.

Small point: Ultimus Haeres is Scottish Law and has no application in other parts of the Kingdom, where Bona Vacantia includes Ultimus Haeres.

Quote
it is apparently based on securing extra childcare for out of work single parents.
The approach of both Wales and Scotland to the disadvantaged in society has been far better than that in England.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2014, 11:47:35 AM »
What do you think?

I myself am giving up on democracy. Most humans are too stupid to make good decisions beyond whether to get out of bed.  As such, they are incapable of selecting competent leadership.  Exhibit A: the US House of Representatives.   

I am not sure what should replace it.  Some kind of benevolent dictatorship, I think, but I have not ruled out monarchy.  It would depend on the selection process, I think.  I might support monarchy if I were guaranteed a position of high nobility, preferrably in the line of successtion somewhere.  I'm quite noble.  Also, succession could not be hereditary.  Lineage is no way to select a leader.

Perhaps the best way would be to develop a highly rational AI and let it tell us what to do. I bow before our robot overlords.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2014, 10:34:10 AM »
Remember the Christian viewpoint is actually very similar to Monarchy.

Monarchy:All goodness comes from the King, he knows best, can punish those that displease him in any manner he chooses, you shouldn't question the King. However you can beg for favors from him, and he dispences them only if it fits in with his interest. Sound familiar? Contrast that with the concepts of the inheint dignity of man, jury of ones peirs, avoiding cruel and unusual punishment, due process, and people can vote on the leader...some of the very core of American Values....very dissonant to those values that are found in the Bible.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2014, 11:28:11 AM »
Remember the Christian viewpoint is actually very similar to Monarchy.

Monarchy:All goodness comes from the King, he knows best, can punish those that displease him in any manner he chooses, you shouldn't question the King. However you can beg for favors from him, and he dispences them only if it fits in with his interest. Sound familiar? Contrast that with the concepts of the inheint dignity of man, jury of ones peirs, avoiding cruel and unusual punishment, due process, and people can vote on the leader...some of the very core of American Values....very dissonant to those values that are found in the Bible.

No so much similar ans being invented by making god the equivalent to a king with a heavenly court that appears from time to time in the OT.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2014, 12:21:18 PM »
Remember the Christian viewpoint is actually very similar to Monarchy.
With the important exception that the Monarch is real.

The problem was that the priesthood put God above the monarch, and thus had control of the Monarch, and thus the country and its wealth.

The monarchy is similar to God inasmuch as it is seen by no two citizens in exactly the same way but most believe it to be benevolent or, at least, (unlike God) benign.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Online 12 Monkeys

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2014, 11:09:01 PM »
Speaking for me and only me as an aboriginal FUCK ALL MONARCHIES....end of rant
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Offline Fiji

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2014, 03:13:02 AM »
Alright, *rolls up sleeves* here comes the Belgian.

First of all, is Atheism incompatible with monarchy.
No, "I do not believe in god therefor hereditary heads of state can't be" ... there's no connection between the two.
In Belgium, the king rules by virtue of the constitution, no gods involved. Sure, the Belgian royal family and the catholic church are BFFs but that has no effect on the legitimacy of the king.
In fact, the only reason we're a monarchy is that way back in 1830, when we kicked the Dutch out[1], we needed someone with training in military strategy ASAP[2].
And it didn't hurt that Leopold von Saxen-Coburg - Gotha was popular in the UK[3].

After the second world war, we had the "matter of the king" where the French speakers wanted him gone and the Dutch speakers wanted him to stay[4]
But, rather than go republic, they just installed regent Charles[5]
These days it's the other way around, the Dutch speaking Belgium want the monarchy gone while the French speakers want them to stay. This, primarily, because the king is one of the few things still holding the country together.

Religion doesn't really enter into the debate. Sure, the christian-democrat paries[6] USED to be massively in favour of the monarch ... the BFF thing, remember. But even they are beginning to move away from the monarchy.
 1. the Dutch GARRISON ie. farmhands and unskilled labourers  with very little training
 2. Because the guys the Dutch were coming back with were hardended professional soldiers
 3. he was the widower of a British princess
 4. Leo III had remained in Belgium while it was occupied, whereas the Dutch queen Wilhelmina had fled to London, along with her government.
 5. who was replaced by king Baldwin when he turned 20
 6. two of em, one Dutch speaking, one French, of course
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Offline hickdive

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Re: Atheism and monarchism
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2014, 09:23:37 AM »
Speaking for me and only me as an aboriginal FUCK ALL MONARCHIES....end of rant

I'm sure the native peoples of large parts of North America might equally say, "FUCK ALL REPUBLICS".
Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.