Boxed and others make the mistake in assuming that the sole purpose of a state religion is to force its adoption by the people of the states. Historically, this is commonly the true purpose of a state religion. Prime examples would include (1) the ancient Romans that used the cult of emperor worship to help unite the disparate conquered subjects of the Roman empire and (2) sixteenth and seventeenth western European countries that used secular authority to control the clergy of Protestant and Catholic Churches to excommunicate and otherwise eliminate political opposition.
The question is, does it always have to be this way?
We have two answers to this question, the theoretical and the practical.
The theoretical answer is that if a religion has an element of choice within its doctrines, then the state in order to offer a true representation of the religion would have to incorporate an element of choice into its implementation of the religion. One way for this to occur would be to have every citizen by default a member of the Church, but to not hinder individuals from deciding to leave the state Church nor to inflict any sanctions against individuals or groups that have left the state Church. There are also other possibilities.
But then we get to the practical answer which leads to other questions. Can a government composed of humans run a state-Church without abusing the power of the state to the advantage of the Church and/or without abusing the power of the Church to the advantage of the state. As a practical matter, I would say the answer to this question is no. We also have another question. In history, has there ever been an example of a state-run Church that did not abuse its power? I personally don't know of any positive answers to this last question, but they may exist.
Now as to the other topic boxed brought up, truth in religion, we have a very nonsensical claim:
No religion can be proven to be true. So your entire argument falls on that premise.
First, I'd like to see boxed or anybody prove the truth of the claim that "No religion can be proven to be true" by the same standards that a religion would have to meet in order to be proven to be true or not.
Second, on a practical level, even if I conceded that a religion could not be proven to be true, religions can still be proven to be untrue (through either internal or external inconsisties with the exception of religions such as Zen Buddhism that are built on the philosophical rejection of the law of the excluded middle are not effected by being shown to be internally inconsistant). As a practical matter, I think that a religion not being proven to be untrue would suffice in the exceptional case of the existence of a sytem of government run by people mature and fortright enough to even handedly, justly, and fairly run a Church/State.
Third, on a purely theoretical level for the purposes of discussing whether a state run church or a church run state can be good thing, it does not matter whether or not a religion can be proven to be true, it only matters that a religion is true. Proof is inconsequential.
Or look at it from Homer Simpson's variant of Pascal's wager. How do we know that we aren't going to the wrong Church and we keep making God madder and madder? If we are making God madder and madder, regardless of whether we can prove such a thing, if any religion is true, we are creating lasting effects by our actions.
One other point.
Religions are inheritably unprovable, that's part
of the point with them.
I can't speak of all religions, but all of the religions that I have personally investigated to a greater or lesser extent (Zen Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) are entirely contingent on being true in order to be efficacious. The most obvious of which is Christianity about which the apostle Paul wrote that If Jesus is not risen from the dead, then we (Christians) are among all men to be the most despised.
Have a day,
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