Taking oath on Bible as a court witness, but do not believe in God

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posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:18 PM
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Later this year I am due to stand as a witness in a criminal court.
For obvious legal concerns no details will be published here but it is in a case which involved inhumane violence and fear for the victim.
In my opinion the defendant is either filled with hatred and a lack of any humane feelings, or suffering from a dangerous mental health issue. As such I want nothing to damage the credibility of my testimony as a witness, due to the genuine fears I have for the victim in a not-guilty situation.

I have been considering all possible aspects of the trial process, from cross-examination to the initial oath.
I am drawn to placing my hand on the bible instead of making a non religious affirmation to tell the truth. This would be a tactical move no less important than choosing to wear a suit and tie and appearing clean-shaven. Judgements are often made about much more than the words we speak, and if there is anything I can do to support an opinion of me as a credible witness then I shall make that effort.

If I choose to make the openly non-religious affirmation to tell the truth there is a chance that the Magistrates could have strong faith and as such be negatively influenced in their initial view of me.

If I choose to place my hand on the bible and take the oath there is a chance that the Magistrates with faith will be positively influenced.

If there are any atheist Magistrates on the bench my opinion is that they would either dismiss the whole spiritual oath thing as irrelevant silly nonsense, or be unimpressed by a stated affirmation to tell the truth because, let's face it, who has ever not declared that they would tell the truth prior to giving evidence?!

Now, for the conspiracy slant:
You are formally asked by the court usher if you wish to take the oath or affirm, this is in open court and publically recorded.

Lord Justice Auld stated:



It is a strange quirk of our justice system that we require a witness to make a public declaration of their religion, or lack thereof, before giving evidence. Surely we could better judge a witness if we knew how they voted? Their sexuality?

I absolutely agree with this observation.
One need only look at the passions aroused on the ATS boards where the judgement of others is influenced by their knowledge of anothers religious beliefs, or lack thereof.

It would be a solely tactical decision to choose the religious oath at the trial, in order to avoid any risk of negative judgements being made about my character by possibly religious magistrates. I would do this solely for the benefit of the victim in this case, in the hope of a successful prosecution and custodial period.

Am I selling myself out on public record? Yes, it feels and appears that way.

Is it right that a situation exists where I am forced to reveal spiritual beliefs, or lack therof, prior to giving evidence in a criminal court case? No, I think not.

This thread is not about "God exists" or "God does not exist" it is as clearly stated above with the conspiracy slant regarding witnesses being forced to make the choice in open court on public record.

I look forward to hearing different opinions if anyone is interested but please let's not get into 'you are wrong to hold the Bible' etc, we'll get nowhere as it is a faith based position that the book has special status during a declaration of truth. In any case, my focus is on the forced choice to declare religious beliefs, or lack thereof, when everyone could just instead promise to honestly tell the truth.

edit on 8-1-2013 by grainofsand because: typo




posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 


They couldn't think of a better way to make sure someone didn't lie on the stand. But if we have people committing perjury on the Bible, I don't think it's as effective as it used to be. Who knows if it ever was?

I think being in a court room surrounded by officials is intimidating enough. If that doesn't scare anyone, I don't think a book is going to. Time to do away with that particular stage of the ceremony.
edit on 8-1-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:23 PM
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I too have thought about this.

As I'm an Atheist, by loose definitions.

I think you need to decide if you can "take one for the team", In the faith of making a general oath of truth.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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I don`t think they even use bibles anymore. It`s been a long time since i`ve been in court at least 15 years or more but even back then they didn`t use bibles they just ask you to raise your right hand and repeat after me. They have even removed the word god from the oath you take.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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If a person is going to lie, they're going to lie.

Swearing on a book won't change that.

OP.....I don't know what you should do, follow your heart. You know your home area and what would be the best for you to do. Good luck, I hope everything goes well.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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seperation of church and state.. why i there a bible in the courtroom and instead why is each person that is on the chair not hooked up to a polygraph?



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

I agree.
The book doesn't scare me, just the risk of subjective opinion if I publically avoid it.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by Tardacus
 


I've been in court a fair few times over the years - They still use Bible's here.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Tardacus
I don`t think they even use bibles anymore. It`s been a long time since i`ve been in court at least 15 years or more but even back then they didn`t use bibles they just ask you to raise your right hand and repeat after me. They have even removed the word god from the oath you take.


God's still there in the UK, your forced to make a choice: www.magistrates-association.org.uk...



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:27 PM
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I. Ancient times they would swear on their testicles to tell their truth. If they were found to be lying the courts would castrate them. That's where the word testify originates.

Think about that when testifying lol may be more encouragement than some silly long winded book



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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I say, if we stick with the religious aspect of it, we should pledge on our soul's damnation at death/judgement day.
I can't really think of anything worst religious or not.

I fully agree that nowadays, the Bible lost it's "100% truth" value.
But hey, half the legal system seems fraudulent so what are we to expect, a pledge that really means something?



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:30 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Thank you.


Originally posted by dorkfish87
I. Ancient times they would swear on their testicles to tell their truth. If they were found to be lying the courts would castrate them. That's where the word testify originates.

Think about that when testifying lol may be more encouragement than some silly long winded book

Haha! Ohmygosh, that's an incentive!!



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by theMediator
 


Yikes,

I don't know what to tell ya, grain.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:40 PM
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Having served on two criminal juries, I think you might be overthinking the impact of bible/no bible. There is so much to pay attention to in a case the oath is just a blur of memory.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777
reply to post by theMediator
 


Yikes,

I don't know what to tell ya, grain.

'tis a tricky one isn't it, I would love to know how many people have wanted to just 'affirm' but chose the oath instead because of possible preconceived opinions of magistrates or judges though



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by dorkfish87
 


Originally posted by dorkfish87
I. Ancient times they would swear on their testicles to tell their truth. If they were found to be lying the courts would castrate them. That's where the word testify originates.

Think about that when testifying lol may be more encouragement than some silly long winded book

Not really:

www.etymonline.com...
testify (v.)
late 14c., "to serve as evidence of," from L. testificari "bear witness," from testis "witness" (see testament) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Biblical sense of "openly profess one's faith and devotion" is attested from 1520s. Related: Testified; testifying.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Toromos
Having served on two criminal juries, I think you might be overthinking the impact of bible/no bible. There is so much to pay attention to in a case the oath is just a blur of memory.

No jury, a bench of 3 magistrates.
I agree any influence would likely be minimal, but that is an assertion. I do not know this.
The forced question of faith or not is questionable though while it is asked, no matter how small the risk of influence.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by dc4lifeskater
why is each person that is on the chair not hooked up to a polygraph?


because they do not actually work as "lie" detectors.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:57 PM
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I personally see no point in having to swear on a bible to tell the truth. Anyone, especially the guilty, are of course going to lie to try and get away with whatever they are accused of. After all, by not pleading guilty and avoiding the trial in the first place, they or their lawyers think they can possibly convince (lie a lot) a judge and jury of their innocence.

From personal experience swearing on a bible, even as a credible eye witness and being honest and truthful means nothing to a slimeball defence lawyer who, through clever wordplay and innuendo can try to make you appear unreliable and untruthful anyway.

Bottom line, anyone who is going to lie will do so regardless of swearing on a book they have probably never read, and whose religious message means absolutely nothing or plays no part in their lives.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by hellobruce

Originally posted by dc4lifeskater
why is each person that is on the chair not hooked up to a polygraph?


because they do not actually work as "lie" detectors.


This is a summary of the position in the UK:



Polygraph testing is currently being used to determine whether sex offenders are ready to be released from prison and will continue to be used as a pilot in certain areas of England and Wales for two more years. Whether this will alter the opinion on court use remains to be seen. Lie detector results can be admissible in some tribunal and civil cases, but their introduction into criminal courts would require legislation.

solicitors.contactlaw.co.uk...





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