Thursday, 19 November 2009

Ridiculous Laws being taken to their obvious conclusion part 3,298,674

A judge has apparently decided that being really, really bad at leading murder investigations is not sufficient reason to prevent someone from being put in charge of murder investigations. At least not if they're really, really bad at their job because of "religious" reasons. A policeman is suing the department that fired him for proposing the use of psychics in investigations because, apparently, his belief in psychics is a religious belief:
Judge Peter Russell said that the case had merit because his Spiritualist views "have sufficient cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance" to be covered by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
Maybe next time someone gets a question wrong in one of my probability classes, they should sue me because believing that all of the outcomes in the sample space are equally likely is part of their religion?

This is a problem I've mentioned before: it's very, very difficult to protect "genuine" religions from persecution without also protecting the religions which are even more obviously silly. Religious discrimination laws are a licence to believe whatever you like, and to claim legal protection for acting on that belief: essentially, a licence to do whatever you like at work, as long as you can convince enough other people that doing that thing is "holy". Silly laws lead to silly court cases like this.

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