This is the marking issue with biometrics. Are you a being with agency, or are you property represented by your mark? The point of privacy laws are that your consent is required, and taking things from you under duress or coercion is not consent.
I'm not talking about being discriminated against because of religious beliefs, mind you. I'm talking about the right to do or refuse something (e.g., refuse a fingerprint or, or refuse to serve alcohol) and protection of those choices.
I think people who ride your train of thought just don't like religion and disagree with it being a fundamental right. To which I would vehementely disagree because most of the other important rights modern societies enjoy became a thing in a very religious time and religious reasoning was used (of course I have many more reasons as well). I think it boils down to what may seem like a false dichotomy but is very true -- you either take the route of regulating people's ability to live according to their belief or you don't.
Don't be surprised when this is used against you either. If you live in America or even some european countries (see poland and hungary) your irreligious practices become also regulated. If the state can regulate belief then it can for example force kids to pray at school or punish kids who pray at school. It took millenia of wars and conflict to finally decide, let's not tell other people how to believe and how to practice said belief. Let's not forget the past and even the present?
If your religion includes killing people, it is still illegal regardless of your religion. So it seems reasonable that any law which can be overridden by a religious exemption should be dropped for all people.
Of course, in the eyes of western law, religion does not supersede the rule of law. But at the same time, legislation or judicial enforcement done in ignorance of the people's religions (or lack thereof) is in effect regulating their faith. Just citizens can't claim ignorance when they disobey the law, the gov shouldn't claim ignorance of people's beliefs either.
The only time it makes sense to infringe on religious freedom is when preventing infringement of others' liberty. Point being, murder violated someone's liberty while a baker refusing business violated a right (not liberty since other bakers are willing to serve the couple). I would draw the line by saying concerting to restrict others rights would violate liberties.
I don't think this changes anything really. If religious people can use their religion as a valid reason for discrimination, why shouldn't everyone be able to discriminate?
To me, I think everyone should have exactly the same legal rights. Either everyone has to bake the cake or no one does.
And that is also not the case of Jack Phillips. He didn't refuse to serve gay people, and IIRC the accusers on the case were regular clients.
He refused to _design_ a custom cake for a gay wedding, which is akin to a Jewish t-shirt designer refusing to design a logo involving a Swastika, or a black transgender baker refusing to bake a cake that says "white lives matter" or "sex is immutable".
This seems much more related to compelled speech than sexual discrimination.
That said it's not a pure good. Religions can push for oppressive laws that match their beliefs.
Also, secular laws are seen as opressive to religious people.being forced to make a secular sign feels as opressive as being forced to pray at school. Both are a majority population implementing shared belief
Such as income taxes. I’m not against religious organizations not paying income tax but I do think they should pay property tax beyond the acreage required for the church/temple/mosque building, a garage and a parking lot. Allowances could be made if they run a pantry or a school for additional tax free land but no more of this having a church own dozens to hundreds of acres and buildings that they have little to no incentive to use for anything once purchased. Since they don’t pay property or income taxes, inflation does not hit them as hard but since they are competing for the same properties in the market they have an unfair advantage.
Freedom of Speech != Freedom of Consequence.
Don't care for the rest of the comment because I've come to believe those that can't wrap their heads around the difference between civil and criminal law are not worth talking to about either.
Some might say there's irony in the religious component being mentioned, but I say it is natural. Not many incentives to think critically or against the grain in religion, not surprising it is rare amongst its proponents then.
This is becoming rather a tedious thought-terminating cliché in some circles. They rarely specify who should determine the consequences and which consequences are acceptable, which is usually exactly what's being discussed.
As in this case, where the discussion is whether losing one's job is an acceptable consequence when your beliefs lead you to action, inaction, or speech someone in power doesn't like.
Ah yes, Godwin's law for the 2020's. So we can fire people for spouting commie propaganda (ie promoting unions) now?
Your whole post is just a big, oafish strawman. I might be insulted if it weren't so bad that it's actually making me laugh.
Which times? And what religious reasoning?
Personally, it makes me think of "Les Lumières", and I fail to see any religious reasoning in Voltaire or Rousseau.
So, being pretty sure we aren’t thinking of the same times and people, I’m curious.
How about a state law against branding or tattooing infants or any other irreversible body modification?
Clearly these are both rhetorical questions with obvious answers. Whether or not those obvious answers are morally correct is another matter.
Ergo, while traditional, the fact that you are requesting the modification of another human (not yourself), I could see this not surviving a challenge down the line.
After all, female genital mutilation (which is obviously far worse) represents a similar request for modification of a living human - not yourself - for religious purposes, and it is outright banned in the overwhelming majority of the United States. While a Federal ban was struck down, it was not struck down on First Amendment grounds but rather due to same being outside the scope of enumerated powers of the federal government and not covered by the commerce clause. 
This leaves the state laws in force in all but 9 states.
Some people think it would not survive a Due Process challenge, though, because there isn't a strong enough basis to overcome a parent's fundamental right to make decisions about their child. I could see that being a close question.
The case I could make is that it may prevent the child's right to future free exercise of a religion in which the, uh, package should be, err, OEM.
Once you turn 18, by all means, feel free to take a little off the top.
One should not be given special privileges because one's convictions be “deep” which is, if anything, symptomatic of not basing them on prudence but on hysteria and emotion.
It's also irrelevant for the company itself; if a company can reasonably accommodate a man whose convictions are deep, it can do so the same with anyone else for the same reason.
can I steal if I had a deeply held religious conviction that it is appropriate?
That's been changing since the early twentieth century, but for decades the Roma were known as thieves. Unfortunately the stigma still lives until today.
EDIT: To the downvoters: Your social justice crusade is ridiculous. I'm not passing judgement on this group, I'm stating the facts. You'll notice that I called them Roma, like they call themselves today, and not the more common name associated with them in English which they decided themselves to avoid.
Hm, there is even no mention of the nail myth on the Roma Wikipedia page. But there is a separate page, not linked from the main Roma page, that explains it and even mentions that Roma are permitted to steal:
> but for decades the Roma were known as
These sorts of exceptions have historically been made in deference to pragmatism, an example being not drafting bona fide pacifists into the military due to the pointlessness thereof. But deferring to pragmatism when dealing with the topic of human rights is offensive.
In the US it is, the government doesn't act as a priest determining who is or isn't part of the Faith. In Canada it is similar, the only requirement is one of sincerity and good faith.
> Otherwise, people de facto have a different set of rights based on their beliefs.
It only becomes a question or rights when a a restriction is applied in the first place. Religious exemptions always come up when some kind of government policy is mandated (state education, vaccines, taxes, etc.). The "additional" rights only appear as a consequence of personal agency in the first place. Which is why it was called "the canary in the coal mine of rights".
> But deferring to pragmatism when dealing with the topic of human rights is offensive.
Hugh? It seems to me that pragmatism has a well deserved place in every aspects of political life.
I hope you're not fond of "the weekend" considering it used to take a religious exemption to get a day off work at all https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabbat
"Oop, gotta go — it's Buchwuch!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg58j-MoFic
"The present-day concept of the relatively longer 'week-end' first arose in the industrial north of Britain in the early 19th century and was originally a voluntary arrangement between factory owners and workers allowing Saturday afternoon off from 2 pm on the basis that staff would be available for work sober and refreshed on Monday morning."
And if you think I would need to "oppose weekends" (whatever that means) to be consistent, then you are wrong about that too. What exactly is it you think I am trying to argue, and how would failing to "oppose weekends" make my argument inconsistent?
So now you see how it wasn't an argument? You have to guess at what their actual argument! So they expect me to guess and construct an argument for them, and then refute it? Rubbish.
> Because you were stating that no one should receive special benefits because of their religion, one must
question how weekends could come about in such a system,
Why must one question that? My argument was not "religion is responsible for nothing that I personally like or agree with". So this is just a bad strawman.
> considering they likely started as a religious observance.
If we were to change topic completely and argue about the origin of 5 day working week and other workplace health and safety reforms, I really don't know enough of the history of it. I have no problems acknowledging and being thankful for good things that religion has brought (if religion was responsible for the weekend, great that people had the sense to take my position on the matter and not restrict the weekend to religious people). However I would be slightly curious why it happened to come about right around the time of rising power of the labor movement in the west, and not any other time in the several millennia of these religions before then. Maybe just a coincidence. But either way I don't really care, I like weekends and I don't want them restricted to people with particular beliefs, so that's +1 for my argument.
Why should we not allow new advancements? If a religion has a good idea, people in that religion should be allowed to experiment with it. Maybe it will turn into something that can benefit society at large.
I mean, you're actually trying to equate giving everyone equal rights and protections under the law with not allowing new advancements. Sorry this is just stupid bad-faith arguing tactics.
I'd be happy to come back and respond to something substantial but obviously I'm not going to keep going down this path.
Sorry, there was just a lot to respond to and I picked what seemed like the most productive parts to reply to.
> So now you see how it wasn't an argument? You have to guess at what their actual argument!
Regardless, a rhetorical question isn't useless. Most of the famous paradoxes are rhetorical questions that sparked a lot of debate within a community. Simply because it is not an argument does not mean it's lazy or not to be responded to.
> Why must one question that?
I find this an odd question to hear on a forum full of skeptics... IMO, we should question everything. It's just the best way to engage with a world full of misleading appearances.
> My argument was not "religion is responsible for nothing that I personally like or agree with".
But if you derive benefit from something created by religion, it is somewhat hypocritical to want to stamp out the ability of religions to create benefits for people.
At this point we're both wasting each other's time here so that's it from me responding to these dishonest comments.
> That's not an argument.
On what axiom do you base the premise that citizens should not murder fellow citizens in your society?
There’s a big difference between an Orthodox Jew being required to work on Saturday, and someone who just likes college football.
Accommodations that come from deepseated beliefs need to be treated with utmost respect.
There's no reason the state should say one person's personal choice to follow a religion allows them to forever be exempt from Saturday work, but someone who chooses to follow football has no right or guarantee to ever enjoy a Saturday. They deserve equal protections.
There are many people out there far more passionate about their hobbies than many people who use their religion to excuse them from various expectations. They shouldn't be denied enjoyment.
Religious people don’t see practicing their faith as a choice though, they see it as an obligation.
Watching college ball is as tedious as religion but never an obligation
Ezekiel 22:8,31 ESV
"You have despised my holy things and profaned my Sabbaths...  Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD."
Ultimately freedom of religion prevents the situation in which a person is forced to come to the conclusion that a lower authority (government) is attempting to usurp the highest authority (God). At that point, any religious person has three bad alternatives:
1. Disobey God.
2. Suffer persecution from the government.
3. Rebel against the government.
You can't just leave me hanging there! What's the big difference?
What if that Saturday watching football is the person's passion and the only time of the week they feel happy? Who is a 3rd-party to step in and be the decider of what other peoples' wants and needs and feelings and beliefs are?
Surely the default, simplest, easiest, and most just position is to treat everyone the same.
> Accommodations that come from deepseated beliefs need to be treated with utmost respect.
I don't think they need to at all. Plenty of flat earthers, anti vaxxers, climate denialists, conspiracy theorists have extremely deep seated beliefs to the point of religious fervor. There are also religions or religious people whose beliefs are abhorrent or wrong to others. Why would they or any other belief religious or otherwise entitle them to respect or rights or allowances that nobody else has?
Here's how you just completely skirt all that and make it fair and equal for all: give everyone equal rights and protections.
> > Accommodations that come from deepseated beliefs need to be treated with utmost respect.
> I don't think they need to at all.
Clearly "deepseated belief" is not a good basis to hand out rights to people, and a belief does not have any "need" to be given any particular respect based on how deep seated someone's faith in it might be.
And it's an excellent proxy since most people's consciences are formed by their religious beliefs (maybe not most HNers, but that's observational bias)
That we shouldn't have to rely on religion to fight that proxy battle for us.
that's an odd take. a bit like saying "our founders loved X, so they carved out favorable laws for X, which is evidence that X is good."
yes, as you noted...that higher authority is society not god. The concept of god is an attempt to impute one's/a group's morals on a society
Instead, they claim that <whatever they actually want to do next> is what their $deity has revealed must be done.
Anyone’s assumptions or thoughts can qualify as a religion. At least for any consistent and useful definition of religion.
I deeply believe in the existence of gravity. I guess that makes me a Scientitian.
> Members of certain religious groups (including the Amish and Mennonites) may be exempt from paying Social Security taxes. To become exempt, they must:
> Be a member of a religious sect that makes a reasonable provision of food, shelter and medical care for its dependent members and has done so continuously since December 31, 1950;
Circumcision shows that this is not even the case.
It all comes down to whether some court, quite arbitrarily, rules whether one's convictions are a “religion” or not, and if they be, one may derive special privileges from it.
But first, I'm not a member of any organized religion, so even though I might find something acceptable I can't invoke a religious exception since my unique spiritual outlook is unlikely to meet any court's threshold of acceptability.
Second, I honestly think this guy's religious claim is bullshit. There's no Christian stricture on concealing your identity, and given that the fingerprint was sought pursuant to a background check, I can even come up with a religious argument for why he should have complied (Matthew 22:22).
So while I support this guy's desire nt to be fingerprinted as a matter of human dignity, I don't think a religious exemption is the way to do it. Those have instead become a catch-all excuse for overtly religious people to opt out of things they don't like without having to meet the same threshold of legal credibility as others.
This was his job. With his private sector employer. Who paid him money in exchange for services.
Someone being forced to resign because their work requirements are incompatible with their beliefs is part of having a moral code. You're not entitled to be able to work in a specific job.
Refusing to being tracked with an identifier, when you're working in a security sensitive job, is absolutely "an undue hardship" on your employer.
And the idea that alternative accommodations for a background check exist is bullshit. By definition, they all boil down to attesting to your identity + searching for a certain class of records against that identity.
(I'm all for creating equality by leveling the playing field for things outside of individual's control, but at some point, you're harming everyone else's equality by making bad-faith... faith claims)
Who then changed the agreement from not even mentioning requiring fingerprinting to absolutely requiring it. That's the most egregious bad-faith example in this story.
If a business can arbitrarily declare "You now all need to pass background checks including fingerprinting to keep your jobs", what's to stop them saying "You now need to accept getting paid half of what we'd agreed to when you were employed"?
There was an employment agreement, the employer wished to add conditions to that after the agreement was reached between the two parties. And there apparent "re negotiation" of that agreement was the company saying "OK, you're fired". And the EEOC and the court both decided that was not OK. Which seems like the right outcome to me, regardless of whether the "religious discrimination" makes any sense or not. I'd totally expect the prosecution lawyers to play whatever the strongest argument the law had available to them. I would totally let a lawyer convince me it was appropriate to claim I have a christian belief and that part of that means I do not want to be fingerprinted, if that allowed them to use the most powerful legal argument against an employer who had arbitrarily and capriciously fired me on the spot for resisting being fingerprinted to keep the job I'd had to 16 months without that requirement.
In most of the US, for most US jobs, absolutely nothing. The vast majority of US workers are at-will employees. Their boss can call them up at any point and say “We’ve decided that starting next pay period, we’ll be cutting your salary in half. Have a great day!” The employee’s options are to accept that or start job hunting.
Here in Australia, we're a fair bit more heavily unionised than you are over there, which helps keep some of the power imbalance in the employers favour in check.
Not that unionisation is perfect though either. When I was growing up it was a regular thing for unions to wield their collective power in aggressively overreaching ways - it was common for transport unions and fuel industry unions to have extended strikes over pay claims right before christmas, tand truck drivers would stop delivering to stores, oil refineries would shut down resulting in fuel rationing, and dock workers would stand down resulting in queues full of container ships full of imported goods on the horizon at the beach in summer.
The reaction to a bad job is... you quit and find another one.
Granted, there are substantial power balances between the parties, which is why even the US adds some federal protections (can't fire or decide not to hire for certain protected reasons, wage and work hour limitations) and states can add more (most relevant to HN, California's ignoring non-compete agreements).
But this particular example just smacks of entitlement, when the government worker protection departments should probably be spending more time on chicken processing factories running 18 hour shifts around band saws and paying minimum wage.
Which is also an option in non At-Will Employment states.
The harder it becomes to fire people, the harder it becomes to hire them.
This seems like your taking it a bit to the extreme. We both agree that for me to hire you to do a job I’m allowed to know who you are right? And that to identify the one person out of the world population I am allowed to keep a record with enough details that I can identify if a person is in fact you, right? Now if my bookeping of people changes from “roughly visually resembles the same person” which we both agree is a rubbish measure if any kind of security is involved to “has known fingerprint” and you refuse to comply, why then should I not be allowed to fire the person who I can no-longer identify out of the world population?
You have complete freedom to not want people to see your face or know your fingerprint, but you just cannot take away the freedom of a potential employer to be able to identify who you are by the means they decide.
However, in the United States, where most employees are employed "at will," deciding to remain an employee is often considered to be consent. The law considers that you have choice: you choose to work there and consent, or you chose to not work there.
In this story, it appears that there is a separate law considering religious freedom and not privacy that requires employers to make some accommodations when not too burdensome.
There is - obviously - more at play here than simply the right of the employer to identify employees by any means they wish. There is some level of reasonableness here as well.
This moves the argument into murkier grounds, as now we have to figure out how reasonable fingerprints are in any given situation.
It's similar to how people who are unwilling to dispense reproductive care or contraceptives have many career options available to them - but no inherent right to be pharmacists or doctors.
What if all the companies decided to have these requirements?
There's an inherent power imbalance here that isn't so simple as dismissing any issues simply because there is no literal gun being held to the head at the moment of decision.
And I'll assume even you have limits somewhere. For example, predicating employment for a cushy remote via snail-mail job on a specific person happening to die... Eventually you just get to the most threadbare excuses for soliciting illegal activity.
You trying to argue against fingerprinting, a identification practice so damn common that’s almost everyone currently has a device in their pocket using it, by saying “but what if they then adopt something completely unacceptable!!?”
That’s not an argument against the simple known technology, it’s just an absurd slippery sloop argument where you pretend everything is one giant variation of similar actions an therefore nothing must ever change for fear that this could mean over negative changes could come.
I was not commenting on what those limits are or should be. I was only pointing out that they exist.
I don't understand how this relates to your own example. You seem to be trying to say that a contract is either completely mutable in an unlimited way or else totally immutable? I don't see how that's true at all. There are many limits on contracts already, and yet they still change frequently as situations change.
And that's never the case.
In Finland, conscription may be avoided by being a Jehova's witness, that sole religion, on the basis of that it is a non-violent religion, ignoring that many other religions have similar tenants, and many non-religious people are also deeply pacifist who are still conscript. — That sole religion, so named, is exempted from conscription.
And one only need prove membership, not prove that one actually holds those non-violent beliefs to be exempt.
Good on him, but I thought they actually checked up on the whole "religious beliefs" thing? Is this an actual Christian belief?
Edit: "Plaintiff, a devout Christian, informed AST that the Book of Revelation prohibits the “mark of the devil” which she believed included fingerprinting and that she would not get into Heaven if fingerprinted. She asked AST for an accommodation, such as undergoing a different type of background check that did not require fingerprinting.
AST purportedly informed her that no accommodations were available and terminated her employment for refusing to comply with CPSL’s fingerprinting requirement.
Asserting that AST allowed at least one employee with “unreadable” fingerprints to participate in an alternative background check, plaintiff’s ensuing lawsuit alleged religious discrimination and unlawful retaliation."
Seems like a pretty straightforward argument from there to saying the employee is being discriminated against for a sincerely held religious belief. The belief itself being fringe hogwash is irrelevant.
Plus the employee offering to accept an alternative form of verification seems to point to the belief (however dumb) being sincere.
That is a reasonable and mainstream interpretation, but one has to wonder how someone living in the first century AD would conceptualise a system of biometric surveillance and control, so that they could write about it using the language of the day.
If someone uses their thumbprint to register their identity with their phone, and uses that biometric to unlock a digital copy of a government-issued ID, for example, then it seems almost pedantic to quibble about whether the "mark" is placed or stored on their body, or on their device, or in "the cloud".
Also, the book of Revelation equates "the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name", suggesting that taking a "name" can be equivalently bad to taking a "mark", and that there is a system of assigning numeric (perhaps digital) values to human-readable names.
It is hard to say precisely what constitutes taking a number separately from taking a mark, but I think that a reasonable analogy (even if not a correct interpretation) is a system where people's digital identities are stored under the control of a single global database. The "number" could refer to the digital value of the entire database, or there could be a hierarchical system with a central key exercising authority over regional keys, which exercise authority over per-person keys, like the web PKI only more centralised at the top.
There are lots of good arguments against the surveillance state or the idea of privacy as a fundamental right, reverse-engineering 2000 year old religious visions to mean something opposite of their plainly stated text (notwithstanding translation) is neither necessary nor helpful.
Need I remind you that the events of the New Testament start around the time of a Roman census, so the idea of individuals' own names being catalogued by the state was not an unfamiliar concept even back then.
However, I'm not sure if the "plainly stated text" of Revelation really has such a clear and unambiguous interpretation. Compare Revelation 19:16 which also talks about someone having a name written on them, which I don't think anyone would take literally, and they certainly wouldn't the previous verse where a sharp sword comes out of someone's mouth to strike down nations.
You may not find these interpretations helpful, but others do, and it's fine to see things differently. Also, you're right that Roman censuses would be well known to individuals living in the first century AD, as was the practice of branding slaves, so these would be natural analogies for the writer to use to convey spiritual truths, and perhaps more complicated as-yet-uninvented systems.
I submit that one does not, in fact, have to wonder that.
If one believes that the events described in Revelation are events which are destined to occur in our future, and they were written about from the perspective of a man who lived in the first century AD, then it is worth considering the possibility that the events described would involve systems that would be difficult for him to understand and describe in the way that we see them.
Under such a set of assumptions, someone who is interested in interpreting the prophecy should wonder whether biometric surveillance is the sort of system that would be expressed by such a first century writer in the way that the beast system is expressed in Revelation.
On the other hand, if such abuse becomes more prominent and causes more interference with how business gets done, then you could imagine a scenario where one-off beliefs are much less favored, and the state has to get involved in figuring out whether the belief is actually religious, or if it's just some random thing you believe that you attach religious significance to. (Distinguishing minority religious views from this will be extremely difficult.)
Hence the standard that the belief just needs to be deeply held.
I know that the knee jerk reaction is to give government more power. But you know, in America the power is with the people still.
If the State and corporations gets to decide what you put in your body, and what God you get to believe in, then the foundational promise of America is dead.
Sure, that’s a great answer for people who aren’t religious or whose religious practices happen to line up well with secular “contracts and associations”. Not good for devout people though.
You can't just let every single human claim whatever they want is a religious belief. To claim that having your likeness captured (whether it's a photo of your face, your foot, your fingers, or whatever) is against your religious beliefs is laughable. Does the person not have no drivers license (their face captured by a camera)?
If we can claim whatever we want, well it's against my religious belief to be fired.
Perpetual employment is not a reasonable accomodation; but if you work in HR at a large company, you could probably get out of handling the firing of other employees.
In practice what this means is that if an employee says they have a strong personal conviction about something, the employer must offer reasonable accomodations if any are available, or be prepared to show that the claim was made in bad faith.
Apparently it was a widely-held Native American religious belief: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8380/did-some-c...
> the key thing is that another employee did get an alternate background check
It doesn't matter if it's a religious belief that you approve of or not. The point is it was possible but was not offered as an option for this person.
It's legal to not have a driver's license, if one does not drive on public roads.
For starters you don't (do you?) speak the original language, so you're at the mercy of the translator for the term "mark"
But, going more meta, most religious traditions don't have a strict textual interpretation of their texts. Certainly the author could not have known fingerprinting techniques 2000 years ago. It is not unreasonable to interpret "mark" to be an identifier.
Of course then the "fingerprint" mark would have to be compatible with the rest of Revelations.
> It is not unreasonable to interpret "mark" to be an identifier.
Adding an identifier, perhaps. But to interpret that passage to refer to taking pictures or imprints? That is unreasonable.
Whether or not this is an 'actual christian belief' is not something the federal or state government can comment on.
If the man holds it sincerely then the state must take him at his word.
Edit: why am I being down voted ...? This is the accepted legal standard
Given that he identifies as Christian and whatever he believes got a ruling in his favor I would say that it’s an “actual” belief.
Probably (IANAL) if a person says that they observe the Jewish faith and that this is a deeply held belief, regardless of whether some religious organization recognizes him/her, that will be enough for the courts.
The whole of it defies neat categorization. People who self-describe as Christians can't even universally agree which texts are authentic and holy and which are heretical frauds. The only thing they all universally share is the inclination to call themselves Christians (more than a few are eager to contest whether other self-described Christians are in fact Christians.)
One particular example: I was raised to believe that the Book of Mormon is a heretical fraud, and consequently to believe that Mormons are not real Christians (despite claiming to be.)
Interesting perspective- when I was much younger, I was taught that a Christian is anybody who believes that Christ is the Savior and that he atoned for the sins of humanity. Is there an "official" definition?
Unless, of course, it was all a ruse to simply avoid being fingerprinted (and one would think that the company would've sought evidence... such as church attendance... of being a "devout Christian"). In that case... not such a dṳmb-ȧṡs.
> APRS had requested that its employees be fingerprinted as a result of a background check requirement of one of its clients
> APRS terminated Harrington [...] without asking the client whether an exemption was available [...] even though alternatives to fingerprinting were available.
For tax collection, he wasn't opposed, if they were not stealing for personal gain. Matthew 17:24 and following for instructions to pay Roman taxes. Luke 19:8 for theft repayment by corrupt officials.
> Now kill all the boys.
> And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
> but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Anyway, it's worth linking to the Wikipedia article which provides the background to that chapter and pointing out that at the time of the events described in Numbers 31, it was the standard practice of nations to commit cultural genocide against their enemies (to prevent a continuing cycle of violence), by killing off their males and their widows, leaving only the unmarried to assimilate into the victorious society.
Less violently, it was common for men to defect to a foreign culture when taking a wife from that culture, which had been the case with Israelite men and Midianite women. It was that potential for cultural extinction (and literal extinction, as a deadly plague struck the Israelites after this) which lead to the war whose rules of engagement you quoted.
But that aside, if we're allowed to dismiss certain aspects of the bible because they are no longer culturally relevant, how do we decide which tenets should be followed at all?
To give just a couple of examples, there is the case of Pharaoh ordering the killing of all male children at the start of Exodus, and in Esther chapter 3 we see that the antagonist Haman's plan was "to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus".
Anyway, I don't think Christians should dismiss aspects of the Bible that are culturally difficult, but there are principles for applying its contents to modern situations. The relevant principle here would be that the Ten Commandments are to be generally followed at all times, but God may choose to give specific instructions for specific situations which override those commandments. Reassuringly, it wasn't up to Moses to decide whether or not to attack the Midianites, as he was given that as a direct instruction, in his capacity as the political leader of the Israelites.
The point is there's a ton of stuff in there that just never seemed to get mentioned when I used to go to church. I get the feeling people try really hard to ignore them.
So I make it a point to bring them up.
And since it's a new/fake religion, their beliefs are a blank slate which can be adapted to whichever liberty or situation presents itself. They are daring the courts to call their belief insincere--something the courts are rightly trepidatious about deciding what constitutes bona-fide belief.
It's pretty much the religious exceptionist's worst nightmare--a parody religion set up to leech off any religious benefits or exclusions. Okay, you don't believe in birth control? Well I don't believe in blood transfusions/cancer/insulin. Your move, Christians.
Perhaps, but that's not necessary here. Making decisions for yourself is a huge part of Satanism.
That out of the way, fingerprints and faces are essentially public. Unless you wear a mask and gloves in public, you are visible. And even so, you'll shed some DNA material here and there. If you're so concerned about that, you should wear a clean room suit.
Since I think this is a social conflict bait situation, I won't bite. But we here at HN are hopefully of a higher level rational mind that we recognize that interacting in the current world means allowing quite a lot of observation of who goes where. I'm not talking about Facebook, but I am talking about facial recognition and people folling you with evidence bags (if some organization believes there is value in doing so).
It doesn't matter if I wholeheartedly agree with an article that causes me to have negative emotions. Yes, the climate is getting worse. Yes, a few power plants and containers ships are responsible for a significant fraction of the pollutants. Yes, humans are not working to fix it fast enough. Yes, politician X supports horrible thing Y.
Nevertheless, I don't recall giving a push notification the right to trigger my emotions.
I wouldn't put those in the same category.
Automatic facial recognition is a huge and invasive change to the level of tracking that's possible.
Being followed 1:1 is not.
Going near public areas should not be consent for everyone in the world to be tracked as if a squad of paparazzi is following them.
When monitored, we change behaviour and self-censor.
When categorised, we are judged and discriminated against.
It's a vicious circle of power imbalances.
This is NOT normal.
Here on HN we already know that when shopping in the US (and probably other countries) we are being monitored and facially tracked.
The only power imbalance is the power we give to people to use this information. You can theoretically vote against people who would use this information. Stop shopping in those places, stop walking in areas with known cameras, or wear an AI defeating mask. But this is the world we live in.
You already leave far more information in your internet use than you probably do by walking around town unless you are hyper vigilant.
If you’re concerned about giving up identifiable data points, the photo on your gym membership account is more likely to be usable in other search contexts than the application-specific reduced fingerprint data stored in their scanner.
I'm honestly a fair bit more concern about that dealing in legal names and addresses is still so common than I am about tracking cookies, but, as usual, people are more afraid of new things than of old, even if the old be more dangerous.
Until they swap out the reader at the door for one that also saves fingerprint images (if the one there doesn't support that already!).
Reversing the algorithm in order to generate a plausible fingerprint from the features stored by the scanner seems much simpler than cracking a secure hash function, since the scanner algorithm has to deal with imprecise inputs.
Whether the generated fingerprint would match the relevant record in the background check database depends on whether the features extracted by the scanner are sufficiently different from those used by the background check system, and I suspect that companies just reuse the same algorithms for both.
I'm pretty privacy and personal freedom conscious- for example I wouldn't go anywhere that made me scan a QR code or use an app. But I can't think of any concern I have with a private business using my fingerprint as an access token, unless I'm also signing that they can use it for other stuff.
I find your trust in the strength of a terms of service agreement baffling.
If they get a court order it doesn't matter what you allowed them to do with it. And even without a court order, if they used your fingerprint in ways you didn't allow, how would you know? They wouldn't be the first company to break the law when they think they can get away with it. Even if you trust them, what about when they go bankrupt, or acquired by a chain gym, and all their assets (fingerprints included) suddenly belong to less-scrupulous people.
I'd be much more concerned about giving my fingerprint to apple or lenovo or whatever device provider.
Incidentally, I could be entirely wrong. For example, if there is some Fingerprint-as-a-service company the gym uses that lets you create a portable ID based on your fingerprint, I would refuse.
You've mentioned some reasonable assumptions about how this system might work. But it's ultimately trust in a black box and a manufacturer with whom you have no personal or business relationship. You have no way of knowing if, at any time, your assumptions are still correct, or if one day in the future what's inside the box gets changed out.
What incentives would it take for that to happen? To my imagination, not much. E.g. the manufacturer thinks it can start a side business collecting and selling your full prints. There is certainly a market for them, so why not collect them? Maybe law enforcement sees these devices proliferating and convinces lawmakers to require that the prints be stored to support local investigations. Who would be against catching predators at your gym? Meanwhile the gym doesn't care because this isn't it's problem---and it gets a discount.
Things can change fast. If it seems possible, someone is probably thinking about how to do it.
Person at desk during signup:
"Just press agree and then insert your thump on the reader below."
That "agree" part is where they inserted their vague allusions to doing what they want
Note, I’m not saying that an employer should be allowed to fingerprint, which they should not. I’m simply pointing to the absurdity of the religious exemption as I’m pretty sure no religion says that a person cannot be fingerprinted.
I was previously fingerprinted because of securities industry requirements.
There's no way this case is going to finish well for the plaintiff -- securities laws go back a long way.
You fingerprint yourself in every restaurant with glass cups, and leave those prints behind when you depart.
My fingerprints have been provided to several vendors and government agencies (Clear, TSA pre) who have industry-average data security (that is to say, I expect them to leak).
None are secret. Come up to me the next time I make a public appearance and you are welcome to my fingerprints. :)
Today, that means any arrest can be reported to your employer in near real-time, prior to conviction. As biometrics become more popular, employers and others will get access to more and more data.
In my personal life, I’m monitored by 6 different entities for compliance with various laws. It’s pretty gross and an invasion of privacy.
By your reasoning, you also leave your fingerprints on the number keys you press at the ATM when entering your PIN. So your bank PIN, by your logic, is also no more private than your fingerprints or your hair color, correct?
This is such a bad and harmful take.
I am privacy conscious, but this is a weak argument.
Unfortunately there's no real way of convincing someone so blind to privacy and its importance without big, dramatic examples. Such people need theatre to understand very fundamental things. Hence my comment.
The majority of people I've faced who claim the whole "I have nothing to hide" simply haven't faced a violation of privacy in a way that is meaningful to them, and thus don't understand its importance.
Imagery of my face and fingers is not.
There's a big difference between what you and I are talking about.
Something doesn't have to be a secret for it to feel private.
I think most readers stopped here.