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Separation Of Church & State

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Posted by Jim Bergquist on September 7, 2003 03:01:56 UTC

Although we can speak of the separation of church and state, one cannot ignore the fact that one is the correlate of the other. To function, a vessel must be manned. In the late 18th century, no one would deny this or doubt the need for sailors. When Thomas Jefferson wrote on freedom of religion it was in connection with freedom of conscience. In his proposal to the Virginia Legislature concerning religious freedom, Jefferson wrote:

"...that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise deminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities..."

At the end of his 2nd Inaugural Address, Jefferson included a public prayer. James Madison made a proclamation for a national day of prayer. Separation of church and state was not a ban on religion nor a preference for any particular religion. I would think that a common prayer would have be acceptable to the Founding Fathers.

Jefferson probably would have liked the idea of an open system.

The systems that QM deals with cannot be considered isolated. The atoms in a system are coupled by radiation which is part of the environment. Because exchanges of energy can take place, the atoms themselves can be considered interchangeable without changing the state of the entire system. As in Statistical Mechanics, the system will tend to favor the most probable states. What I miss is how the behavior of an electron can be represented by the state function Psi. I have read Dr. Dick's paper and it also seems to be a little weak in this respect.

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