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Faith, religion, spirituality and philosophy in whole system sustainable developmentsThis is a very personal subject but it must be addressed. This is especially true given the many conflicts that occur globally because of these issues in particular. Individual views will always vary, but for the purposes of addressing these issues in an outline for the establishment of these practices within the Community Developments, each one of these will be dealt with as separate and unique concepts.

Faithi is a belief in something, generally without tangible proof of its existence. Religionii, is the construct of men to teach religious tenets or dogma, generally based on faith though sometimes based on the traditions of persons. Spiritualityiii is a means of seeking out more esoteric truths to enlighten the physical and mental (or cerebral) self. Philosophyiv is a search for ultimate truth and could conceivably cover all of these topics, but remains separate and unique as referenced herein … though still very much related in context.

All manners of faith, religion, spirituality and philosophy will be welcomed with open arms inside of the Community Development though none of them (with the exception of courses specifically designed to teach philosophy and a more philosophical approach to all of these different subjects) will be funded by the Community Developments in any way other than the provision of land through grants and/or leases as shall be determined within the community development itself. What will not be tolerated is intolerance to others based on such beliefs.

Any and all such rights as shall be protected as being based in Faith, Religion, Spirituality and even, to some limited degree, philosophy, shall be protected with a single caveat. Though it is absolutely imperative that this be understood completely and laid out in such a way so that no individual has the legal ability to infringe on the rights of others in any way and so that it imparts a knowledge of what those rights are and what they are not. As such, this section will delve into a great deal of seemingly superfluous information that may not be directly related on some fronts, it is important so as to create a general understanding of what is and is not allowable and/or acceptable.

There will be absolutely no consideration of any theocratic movement accepted, entertained or otherwise approached in regards to management and oversight of the Whole System (or Systemically) Sustainable Community Developments. The government structure is complicated enough whether conducted through a more traditional governing body or through a foundation.

Ultimately, the powers of governance need to be ceded to the people even if it is under the auspices of mandatory civil servant and civil service positions and/or mandatory review boards. The initial method of governance is not by any means ideal, but it is necessary in order to assure the transition of power from the governing body to the people.

Given that a theocratic movement ... in addition to most more traditional forms of government, are not overly keen on granting true social and/or economic freedom to the people, this concept should never be considered and any efforts to subject the people to a theocracy should be immediately quelled. Faith, religion and spirituality are all very personal beliefs but also very subjective and prone to more personal interpretations. As such, every effort needs to be made to provide for the true spiritual, religious, spiritual and/or philosophical freedom of the individual. This means the rights of any one end where the rights of any other begin … though inherent or natural rights must not be confused with privileges eitherv.

Going back to the lessons taught us throughout the known history of mankind, it is every bit as important to write down and make part of the official record not only what can be done, but what cannot be done in the name of freedom ... and most notably, in the governance thereofvi. This is especially true in matters regarding “blue laws”vii, moralsviii and ethicsix, all of which are directly related to the subjects in this section of the book here.

Such laws should be put in place only when necessary and only in regards to matters of public concern. The laws must be put in place not to oppress one over the other as they currently are in many locations, but in such a fashion so as not to create special privileges for any individual and/or group in particular.

Any and all Religions, be they what they may, will be allowed (and encouraged) within society, but not allowed in governance. People with religious convictions must still serve in the same fashion as others, as they are every bit a part of the community. It is inevitable that they will have personal prejudice as all people do, and this will have a level of influence on their decisions, the same as it will for anyone who believes in anything ... religious or not.

People naturally consider everything from a personal perspective at first, but it is equally important, and hopefully easier over the course of time as the next few generations grow up, that people will learn to look at everything objectively as well. In such a fashion, as such critical thinking becomes more commonplace, it is hoped that society ... and individuals, will come to understand and accept that there are always going to be different systems of belief and every one who does believe in something, believes that their convictions are the one true path. It is necessary therefore to find some compromise wherein everyone is free to express their own beliefs but may not infringe on the beliefs of others.

A Christian Church has every bit as much right to display their cross as a Jewish synagogue does to display their Menorah as an Islamic mosque does to display the Crescent. The same holds true for Buddhists, those who share the beliefs of the Indigenous peoples and any others who are simply posting an expression of their belief for the world to see. If someone’s belief ... or lack thereof as the case may be ... is so weak that it is threatened by the mere presence or sighting of a religious symbol, perhaps that individual needs to examine their own system of beliefs before they begin trying to crucify someone else for theirs ... figuratively speaking of course.

This however, does not mean that any and all displays will go unchecked and not be held to account. It is important however, that everyone be held accountable to the same standards. Thus, while a Christian has every right to display their cross in a peaceful manner on their own property or in public forums, they do not have the right to blast Christian music or preaching out over a loudspeaker twenty-four hours a day. In the Islamic communities, the Mosque is used to call out prayers on a daily basis.

While there should not be any major issues of concern that would prevent the continuation of this practice, it will still be subject to the same rules, laws and regulations and any and all other similar restrictions, as anyone else in the community would be held to under the same (or similar) circumstances. The same should hold true for the church as for a neighbor who is having a celebration of some kind or another. There will always be those who will be adversely impacted but it is best if these numbers are kept to a minimum.

They may include people who work at night or artists or merely someone who is “offended” by a simple display of faithx. This does bring up some other subject matter in regards to moral and ethical behavior that is more sensitive in nature with some inherent differences by and between these and public displays of what should by all rights, be more private in nature. There will always be segments of society that have proclivities that may not be fully understood or accepted by “mainstream” society. There is no need to try to regulate the bedroom but neither is there any need ... or desire to see bedroom behavior brought out into the public realm.

This is not to say that there should be laws against public displays of affection, and there is certainly not any desire to have “morality police” going around trying to arbitrarily enforce the morals or ethics of any one class on any other. However, there are some acts that should remain private between consenting parties. When bedroom antics are kept in the bedroom ... or at least in the privacy of the home, it is not ... or should not be ... the concern of anyone outside of that home, at least insofar as the behavior of, by and between consenting adults.

i FAITH: complete trust or confidence in someone or something based on a belief rather than on tangible proof.

ii RELIGION: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods, based on limited tenets of said belief or in a particular dogma.

iii SPIRITUALITY: the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

iv PHILOSOPHY: the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.

v There is an old adage about one being free to swing their fists wildly in the air ... but that right stopping before the point where that fist meets the face of another. Everyone should be free to express their beliefs in whatever fashion they so desire, but that cannot be allowed to supersede the rights of others. In the founding documents for the Community Developments this must be spelled out in absolute detail to include everything that is and everything that is not allowed in accordance with the established standards.

vi The average person is woefully unaware of the documents that comprise the very heart of their societies. Even more so perhaps, when it comes to the associated documents written by the founders in which they give you their interpretations of what was written and why. This ignorance of their history in addition to whatever restrictions may have been placed upon their governors by those documents, is largely lost on the average person and those in power are often more than happy to usurp that power and use it to control the people even more. This must be avoided at all costs. All of the founding documents must spell out clearly what can and what cannot be done.

vii BLUE LAW: a strict “moral” law, particularly one preventing entertainment or leisure activities on a Sunday or other prohibitions based on religious or personal morals, ethics and/or values.

viii MORALS: standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable to do.

ix ETHICS: moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.

x It is important to note that there is no inherent right not to be offended and there should never be any laws, statutes, regulations or other similar enforceable restrictions made on such arbitrary and subjective matters.

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