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Apoleb
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:07 PM
A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.
The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.
The team's mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one.
The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.
The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Nonlinear dynamics is invoked to explain a wide range of physical phenomena in which a number of factors play a part.
One of the team, Daniel Abrams of Northwestern University, put forth a similar model in 2003 (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v424/n6951/abs/424900a.html) to put a numerical basis behind the decline of lesser-spoken world languages.
At its heart is the competition between speakers of different languages, and the "utility" of speaking one instead of another.
"The idea is pretty simple," said Richard Wiener of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the University of Arizona.
"It posits that social groups that have more members are going to be more attractive to join, and it posits that social groups have a social status or utility.
"For example in languages, there can be greater utility or status in speaking Spanish instead of [the dying language] Quechuan in Peru, and similarly there's some kind of status or utility in being a member of a religion or not."
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/51758000/jpg/_51758386_censusformgetty.jpg Some of the census data the team used date from the 19th century
Dr Wiener continued: "In a large number of modern secular democracies, there's been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%."
The team then applied their nonlinear dynamics model, adjusting parameters for the relative social and utilitarian merits of membership of the "non-religious" category.
They found, in a study published online (http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.1375), that those parameters were similar across all the countries studied, suggesting that similar behaviour drives the mathematics in all of them.
And in all the countries, the indications were that religion was headed toward extinction.
However, Dr Wiener told the conference that the team was working to update the model with a "network structure" more representative of the one at work in the world.
"Obviously we don't really believe this is the network structure of a modern society, where each person is influenced equally by all the other people in society," he said.
However, he told BBC News that he thought it was "a suggestive result".
"It's interesting that a fairly simple model captures the data, and if those simple ideas are correct, it suggests where this might be going.
"Obviously much more complicated things are going on with any one individual, but maybe a lot of that averages out."



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12811197

Miss Amor
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:08 PM
Thank god for that.

pmwBPsB0oaE

Kworb
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:11 PM
Christianity will become extinct yes, but Islam will only continue to grow. They are by far the most reproductive.

Dave.
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:25 PM
Amen.


(:o)

azdaja
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:31 PM
Thank god for that.
hell yeah :devil: :angel:

more seriously, i expected to see the check republic there, but not austria. to be fair though, when i was at school they had crosses there, but the pupils would turn them upside down (which would be a satanist symbol or something) and even the teachers didn't care. and nearly 50% of the people here are unbelievers, so i guess it makes sense.

Nicolás89
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:37 PM
Christianity will become extinct yes, but Islam will only continue to grow. They are by far the most reproductive.

So you just assume anyone being born of islamic parents instantly become an islam too?

Apoleb
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:55 PM
I'm pretty sure Christians have always been reproducing more than non-religious people and that didn't prevent their decline in those countries. That's the whole point of the study. It only uses two variables to explain and predict the data. Even though of course in a more segregated society those parameters will apply less.

Moveyourfeet
Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:00 AM
Don't have time to read but need to move to those places because I've just about had it with religious nuts here in the US.

Annie.
Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:18 AM
This is great news for women and gays, and for humanity in general.

Olórin
Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:36 AM
This is great news for women and gays

Why? Everyone I know who is a woman, or who is gay - I don't see how Religion disappearing from my country would alter their day to day lives one bit. Other than those of them who are in fact religious, they would have lost a great deal in that hypothetical scenario.

That said, the only religious people I know are either Christians or Jewish. So perhaps in other religions its cessation would have more of a positive impact.

Of course, religio-cultural impact is a different thing altogether. That is something that can't be made extinct. It is something that could at best fade...very, very gradually.

Annie.
Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:36 AM
Why? Everyone I know who is a woman, or who is gay - I don't see how Religion disappearing from my country would alter their day to day lives one bit. Other than those of them who are in fact religious, they would have lost a great deal in that hypothetical scenario.

That said, the only religious people I know are either Christians or Jewish. So perhaps in other religions its cessation would have more of a positive impact.

Of course, religio-cultural impact is a different thing altogether. That is something that can't be made extinct. It is something that could at best fade...very, very gradually.

Because where I live, religion heavily influences decisions that negatively affect the lives of women and gays(socially & politically). :shrug:

Kworb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:56 AM
So you just assume anyone being born of islamic parents instantly become an islam too?

It's not an assumption, that's how it is. In Muslim families, if you give up your religion, you no longer have a family. But my hope is that Islam will follow the other theistic religions into extinction as our society progresses. Unfortunately it will take a very long time.

njnetswill
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:14 AM
It's not an assumption, that's how it is. In Muslim families, if you give up your religion, you no longer have a family. But my hope is that Islam will follow the other theistic religions into extinction as our society progresses. Unfortunately it will take a very long time.

I think this might be a difference in the types of Muslim communities we have interacted with, but I know plenty of young people who were raised Muslim but simply don't practice their religion, just like my Jewish and Christian friends who were raised in the religion but never attend religious services anymore or abide by religious scripture :shrug:

Sean.
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:40 AM
Ireland? Really? That's quite surprising given the massive Protestant/Catholic conflict! :unsure:

*Nefertiti*
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:41 AM
I don't think Religion is the problem, Religious people who judge others and think they are mini gods that are allowed to control other peoples lives are the problem.

delicatecutter
Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:05 AM
I think this might be a difference in the types of Muslim communities we have interacted with, but I know plenty of young people who were raised Muslim but simply don't practice their religion, just like my Jewish and Christian friends who were raised in the religion but never attend religious services anymore or abide by religious scripture :shrug:

You're American? This isn't the case in most of the Muslim world. Or to places in Europe where they've immigrated.

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:26 AM
I don't think Religion is the problem, Religious people who judge others and think they are mini gods that are allowed to control other peoples lives are the problem.Agreed. And non-religious people who belittle the faith of people who do believe are also the problem. Respect and be respected. I think spirituality can be a beautiful thing so it becoming "extinct" in a lot of places isn't necessarily a good thing. Some of the best people I know, who live to do good in the world, are religious. Some of them are not. People are people no matter who they are and what they believe.

njnetswill
Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:37 AM
You're American? This isn't the case in most of the Muslim world. Or to places in Europe where they've immigrated.

I think it is a matter of social class. Muslim Americans and Arab Americans are two of the groups with the highest average income. In Europe, most of the Muslim immigrants are poor and live in segregated ghettos.

It's been documented that in general, the wealthier a place, the more secular it tends to be, and the most religious areas of the world are also the poorest.

shap_half
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:06 AM
Don't have time to read but need to move to those places because I've just about had it with religious nuts here in the US.

All you gotta do is move your feet.

shap_half
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:09 AM
It's been documented that in general, the wealthier a place, the more secular it tends to be, and the most religious areas of the world are also the poorest.

Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines the three most populated Catholic countries all struggle with poverty, but they got their god.

njnetswill
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:11 AM
Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines the three most populated Catholic countries all struggle with poverty, but they got their god.

I don't understand if you are supporting my point or trying to refute it :scratch: :lol:

Ziggy Starduck
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:18 AM
Agreed. And non-religious people who belittle the faith of people who do believe are also the problem. Respect and be respected. I think spirituality can be a beautiful thing so it becoming "extinct" in a lot of places isn't necessarily a good thing. Some of the best people I know, who live to do good in the world, are religious. Some of them are not. People are people no matter who they are.

Agree :yeah:

Annie.
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:29 AM
Agreed. And non-religious people who belittle the faith of people who do believe are also the problem. Respect and be respected. I think spirituality can be a beautiful thing so it becoming "extinct" in a lot of places isn't necessarily a good thing. Some of the best people I know, who live to do good in the world, are religious. Some of them are not. People are people no matter who they are.

Religion ≠ spirituality.

Spirituality can & does exist outside of religion.

shap_half
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:33 AM
I don't understand if you are supporting my point or trying to refute it :scratch: :lol:

supporting :lol:

I'm from the Philippines so I definitely know it firsthand.

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:43 AM
Religion ≠ spirituality.

Spirituality can & does exist outside of religion.Duh. And I know because that is how it is for me. But for a lot of other people they are one in the same. Which, like I said before, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lin Lin
Mar 23rd, 2011, 06:01 AM
I hope China could be one of theese:(

Mikey.
Mar 23rd, 2011, 06:54 AM
It's definitely true in the society I live in. The only religious people I even know are those very few people who actually attended my private Christian school for the Christian influences, rather than the 'private School' part, like myself. Other than that there is a small community of Jewish people who mainly congregate in this area because of a well known Jewish school.

WowWow
Mar 23rd, 2011, 11:22 AM
:cheer:




This is great news for women and gays, and for humanity in general.
True.

Why?

Because most religious doctrines are oppressive of women and gays :shrug:

Apoleb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:38 PM
Religion has definitely had more negative consequences than positive ones. From stifling free thinking, to social oppression, to holding people in fear..etc.. once you break the cycle of fear and the associated brainwashing of people since they are born, religion doesn't have much chance to survive. The "positive" consequence I guess is the delusion of after life which makes life more tolerable for a lot of people. It's not really the belief in God that's the issue, but the whole package that comes with it. So I think this is definitely going in the right direction.

Halardfan
Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:52 PM
Where has God been for the people of Japan as they suffer earthquake, tsunami and potential nuclear disaster?

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:35 PM
Religion has definitely had more negative consequences than positive ones. From stifling free thinking, to social oppression, to holding people in fear..etc.. once you break the cycle of fear and the associated brainwashing of people since they are born, religion doesn't have much chance to survive. The "positive" consequence I guess is the delusion of after life which makes life more tolerable for a lot of people. It's not really the belief in God that's the issue, but the whole package that comes with it. So I think this is definitely going in the right direction.
LOL @ that being the only positive "consequence" of religion you can think of. You seem more "stifled" than a lot of religious people I know. :sobbing: Think harder and look beyond your obvious discontent towards religion and you'll see that some of those stuck that "cycle" are responsible for some of the greatest works of groundbreaking art (music, literature, movies, etc.), social revolution and change, and show more bravery in the face of malice than the average human being. All this coming from someone that has serious issues with organized religion and identifies herself as completely non-religious. But at least I haven't let it cloud my judgement enough to make statements like yours above. Shows a certain amount of shortsightedness as far as I'm concerned.

Apoleb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:01 PM
LOL @ that being the only positive "consequence" of religion you can think of. You seem more "stifled" than a lot of religious people I know. :sobbing: Think harder and look beyond your obvious discontent towards religion and you'll see that some of those stuck that "cycle" are responsible for some of the greatest works of groundbreaking art (music, literature, movies, etc.), social revolution and change, and show more bravery in the face of malice than the average human being. All this coming from someone that has serious issues with organized religion and identifies herself as completely non-religious. But at least I haven't let it cloud my judgement enough to make statements like yours above. Shows a certain amount of shortsightedness as far as I'm concerned.

Well think harder to just comprehend my post above in which I didn't say religious people are incapable of doing anything good to the world. I can unequivocally say that organized religion has brought more bad than good, besides being superstitious crap anyway regardless of its consequences. It's no coincidence that as the level of wealth (in certain areas of the world) is more distributed than at any other time and education is also more spread than at any other time, religion is going away.

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:26 PM
Well think harder to just comprehend my post above in which I didn't say religious people are incapable of doing anything good to the world. I can unequivocally say that organized religion has brought more bad than good, besides being superstitious crap anyway regardless of its consequences. It's no coincidence that as the level of wealth (in certain areas of the world) is more distributed than at any other time and education is also more spread than at any other time, religion is going away.Of course you didn't say that. But it was certainly implied. There is not much to comprehend beyond exactly what you wrote and reiterated again in the mess of a post I quoted above. Comprehension 101, buddy. Blanket statements are hard habit to break it seems. :sobbing:

Anyway, I'm not in the mood to discuss this any further (Arrested Development about to bring the LOLz). I will say though that I find non-religious and/or non-spiritual people who make comments like yours somehow more obnoxious than religious zealots. Show a certain amount of hypocrisy that goes even beyond zealots in a lot of ways. Like: "I really hate how you think because you believe in a God and go to church every Sunday that you're somehow better than me, but it's OK because I think you're a moron and lesser than me for believing superstitious crap anyways." LOL. Do you not see how ridiculous that sounds? Really??

Ah well. Too through.

DaMamaJama87
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:26 PM
The radical atheistic agenda is exposed :rolleyes:

Apoleb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:32 PM
Of course you didn't say that. But it was certainly implied. There is not much to comprehend beyond exactly what you wrote and reiterated again in the mess of a post I quoted above. Comprehension 101, buddy. Blanket statements are hard habit to break it seems. :sobbing:

.

No it wasn't implied at all and it's simply wrong to imply this from what I said. I said religion as a social factor has brought more negatives than good. How the hell does that mean that all religious people are useless or that religious people can't be great individuals, or that they can't bring anything worthy to the world? :confused: There are so many other factors than religion that can influence people.

And yes, I do think religion is superstition with no sound rational basis, and I don't think that makes me a hypocrite in any shape.

Whitehead's Boy
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:38 PM
You mean to tell me we won't hear anymore about Jewish zombies and talking snakes in 9 nations?

There is hope for the human race, afterall.

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:45 PM
No it wasn't implied at all and it's simply wrong to imply this from what I said. I said religion as a social factor has brought more negatives than good. How the hell does that mean that all religious people are useless or that religious people can't be great individuals, or that they can't bring anything worthy to the world? :confused: There are so many other factors than religion that can influence people.

And yes, I do think religion is superstition with no sound rational basis, and I don't think that makes me a hypocrite in any shape.
OK, I'll take that back. What was implied wasn't that "religious people are incapable of doing anything good to the world." What was implied was that "religion stifled free thinking, [led] to social oppression, held people in fear..etc.." Because of the way you worded it (blanket statement whether or not that was your intention, but based on your last couple of posts I'm going to assume it was :o), it implied that ALL religious people fell under those characteristics. My post was simply created to refute that by pointing out the positive aspects of organized religion and your other (blanket) statement that the only positive aspect of religion was the "delusion of afterlife" (another wholly disrespectful assumption about religious people).

Clearer now? I certainly hope so because I'm missing out on quality AD time right now. :sobbing:

Paneru
Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:50 PM
The radical atheistic agenda is exposed :rolleyes:

Indeed!

"Religion" has not been the problem(speaking from a Christian viewpoint in America), it has been
people who use religion or justify things under the guise of religion.

Hitler is a prime example, hated Christianity, but being the pragmatist sought to use and exploit for political gain and power with the Church in Germany dropping the ball and bending to the will of the Third Reich instead of God.

To a large degree the Church's passivity(going along to get along compromising attitude)
and introversion itself has fostered a lot of this.

America was founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. The Ten Commandments still displayed at
the Supreme Court. Yes, wrongs have been committed by "men" having lost their way. Yet,
many "men" have also strive to make things right in the ongoing process.

Christian Principles have allowed for the most free and prosperous nation on earth. Yet, such
principles have been and continue to be eroded by those that have disdain for Christianity as
well as those whom call themselves Christian and yet betray(through ignoring or distorting) the principles they claim to uphold. And the results of such erosions are evident.

DaMamaJama87
Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:23 PM
Indeed!

"Religion" has not been the problem(speaking from a Christian viewpoint in America), it has been
people who use religion or justify things under the guise of religion.

Hitler is a prime example, hated Christianity, but being the pragmatist sought to use and exploit for political gain and power with the Church in Germany dropping the ball and bending to the will of the Third Reich instead of God.

To a large degree the Church's passivity(going along to get along compromising attitude)
and introversion itself has fostered a lot of this.

America was founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. The Ten Commandments still displayed at
the Supreme Court. Yes, wrongs have been committed by "men" having lost their way. Yet,
many "men" have also strive to make things right in the ongoing process.

Christian Principles have allowed for the most free and prosperous nation on earth. Yet, such
principles have been and continue to be eroded by those that have disdain for Christianity as
well as those whom call themselves Christian and yet betray(through ignoring or distorting) the principles they claim to uphold. And the results of such erosions are evident.

Yes! No country has ever been successful by turning away from God. These atheists should learn their history better and find out what happened to the Godless Soviet Union. :help:

Apoleb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:27 PM
OK, I'll take that back. What was implied wasn't that "religious people are incapable of doing anything good to the world." What was implied was that "religion stifled free thinking, [led] to social oppression, held people in fear..etc.." Because of the way you worded it (blanket statement whether or not that was your intention, but based on your last couple of posts I'm going to assume it was :o), it implied that ALL religious people fell under those characteristics. My post was simply created to refute that by pointing out the positive aspects of organized religion and your other (blanket) statement that the only positive aspect of religion was the "delusion of afterlife" (another wholly disrespectful assumption about religious people).

Clearer now? I certainly hope so because I'm missing out on quality AD time right now. :sobbing:

These were meant as general observations, averaged across lots of people and lots of societies. Of course they don't and can't apply to every individual, but they are true in general. Religion does stifle free thinking for the most part: it provides you with a blueprint that you should just have "faith" in and it aggressively attacks rational thinking that can discredit the belief system because it's not based on a rational basis, rather delivered most of the time through brainwashing and holding people in fear. Historically, religion has always been particularly sensitive towards science and/or philosophy that can eat out at some of its epistemological basis. And unfortunately it became a tool to enforce moral codes.. some of them were good, but the bad ones really make up for them by far: oppressing women, homosexuals, and even justifying slavery and in general holding stiff against ethical progress with time. I wouldn't say that this was the "only" positive aspect of organized religion.. charity and social/humanistic cohesion is another thing that comes to mind but I do think the most important value religion has provided for humans is a belief in conquering death.

Sorry if you find those views offensive, but I actually don't hold any grudge against religious people per se. They come in all shapes and sizes just like all other human beings and hardly no group of people can be categorized clearly, but that doesn't mean I can't have a negative opinion about religion itself as a social phenomenon. Although now it is moving more and more as a non-factor even when it's practiced and I don't particularly mind that. And yeah, don't read or reply before you finish your show, but that is probably too late now. :p

Kworb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:47 PM
You don't need to be religious to be a good person and fight for what's right. It's actually better to approach benevolence from a non-religious viewpoint because you start with a blank slate and you can decide for yourself what exactly is good and bad. This will lead to a far more logical moral code, as opposed to most religious ones that are clearly biased. When you are raised to believe that women are inferior, that people who have a different religion or no religion are inferior, that gays should die, if you are in that position and you want to make the world "better", perhaps what you will be doing is not so good after all.

Halardfan
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:00 PM
The radical atheistic agenda is exposed :rolleyes:

Or the truth as it is also known.

Again, explain to me the role of your God in the terrible events in Japan.

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:23 PM
These were meant as general observations, averaged across lots of people and lots of societies. Of course they don't and can't apply to every individual, but they are true in general. Religion does stifle free thinking for the most part: it provides you with a blueprint that you should just have "faith" in and it aggressively attacks rational thinking that can discredit the belief system because it's not based on a rational basis, rather delivered most of the time through brainwashing and holding people in fear. Historically, religion has always been particularly sensitive towards science and/or philosophy that can eat out at some of its epistemological basis. And unfortunately it became a tool to enforce moral codes.. some of them were good, but the bad ones really make up for them by far: oppressing women, homosexuals, and even justifying slavery and in general holding stiff against ethical progress with time. I wouldn't say that this was the "only" positive aspect of organized religion.. charity and social/humanistic cohesion is another thing that comes to mind but I do think the most important value religion has provided for humans is a belief in conquering death.

Sorry if you find those views offensive, but I actually don't hold any grudge against religious people per se. They come in all shapes and sizes just like all other human beings and hardly no group of people can be categorized clearly, but that doesn't mean I can't have a negative opinion about religion itself as a social phenomenon. Although now it is moving more and more as a non-factor even when it's practiced and I don't particularly mind that. And yeah, don't read or reply before you finish your show, but that is probably too late now. :p
Ah ok. I understand more where you're coming from now. Thanks a lot for explaining more thoroughly. Oddly enough, a lot of your views on the negative aspects of organized religion are very similar to my own. As are the positives. It's just better to me when this kind of discourse doesn't involve blanket statements. It allows for more intellectual conversations and lessens the chance of it becoming a non-progressive back and forth with participants only hearing each other, and not actually listening because both sides feel attacked.

Anyways, yes, I enjoyed AD. Best show ever. :sobbing:

Again, explain to me the role of your God in the terrible events in Japan.You do realize this is an absolutely inane request to make, right?

Halardfan
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:38 PM
Ah ok. I understand more where you're coming from now. Thanks a lot for explaining more thoroughly. Oddly enough, a lot of your views on the negative aspects of organized religion are very similar to my own. As are the positives. It's just better to me when this kind of discourse doesn't involve blanket statements. It allows for more intellectual conversations and lessens the chance of it becoming a non-progressive back and forth with participants only hearing each other, and not actually listening because both sides feel attacked.

Anyways, yes, I enjoyed AD. Best show ever. :sobbing:
You do realize this is an absolutely inane request to make, right?

No. If one is to believe in God then if only to yourself you must have some explanation for such horror that we have witnessed.my position is that such incident disprove the existence of a benevolent God.

Possible explanations that occur to me...

1. God lacked the power to intervene. In which case he is not all powerful and not God at all.

2. God lacked the will to intervene. In which case he is not benevolent, as any of us if granted the power would have stopped those events.

3. God actively caused the events for reasons of his own. In which case God is evil.

4. God doesn't exist.

Whitehead's Boy
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:56 PM
Perhaps the alleged God is too busy planning another genocide, like the genocide of the Canaanites, to care about Japan.

DaMamaJama87
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:58 PM
Or the truth as it is also known.

Again, explain to me the role of your God in the terrible events in Japan.

God never said life was going to be easy. It is through their faith that the Japanese people can recover and rebuild. :)

ampers&
Mar 23rd, 2011, 04:59 PM
No. If one is to believe in God then if only to yourself you must have some explanation for such horror that we have witnessed.my position is that such incident disprove the existence of a benevolent God.

Possible explanations that occur to me...

1. God lacked the power to intervene. In which case he is not all powerful and not God at all.

2. God lacked the will to intervene. In which case he is not benevolent, as any of us if granted the power would have stopped those events.

3. God actively caused the events for reasons of his own. In which case God is evil.

4. God doesn't exist.

Perhaps the alleged God is too busy planning another genocide, like the genocide of the Canaanites, to care about Japan.
..........................................


http://www.threadbombing.com/data/media/2/2lawm89.gif (http://www.threadbombing.com/details.php?image_id=2821)

Halardfan
Mar 23rd, 2011, 05:09 PM
God never said life was going to be easy. It is through their faith that the Japanese people can recover and rebuild. :)

So did God cause the earthquake or merely allow it happen? Either way he scarcely seems worthy of worship unless merely out of terror of displeasing him.

Whitehead's Boy
Mar 23rd, 2011, 05:16 PM
"Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has."

"But since the devil's bride, Reason, that pretty whore, comes in and thinks she's wise, and what she says, what she thinks, is from the Holy Spirit, who can help us, then? Not judges, not doctors, no king or emperor, because reason is the Devil's greatest whore."

Martin Luther

Bayo
Mar 23rd, 2011, 06:16 PM
If they run out we can always send them some of ours.

Apoleb
Mar 23rd, 2011, 07:08 PM
If they run out we can always send them some of ours.

There's almost a uniform exponential growth of non-religious people in developed societies. The pattern is apparently everywhere. Between 1990 and 2008, the number of non-religious people almost doubled. It now stands at 16%. Given the pattern, it won't be too long (30-40 years max) before non-religious people become the majority. :eek: And Paneru's American can kiss goodbye. :kiss:

Bayo
Mar 23rd, 2011, 07:50 PM
There's almost a uniform exponential growth of non-religious people in developed societies. The pattern is apparently everywhere. Between 1990 and 2008, the number of non-religious people almost doubled. It now stands at 16%. Given the pattern, it won't be too long (30-40 years max) before non-religious people become the majority. :eek: And Paneru's American can kiss goodbye. :kiss:

You're gonna make Glenn Beck cry. :tears:

Kart
Mar 23rd, 2011, 11:49 PM
The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Their loss.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 01:50 AM
God never said life was going to be easy. It is through their faith that the Japanese people can recover and rebuild. :)

Exactly!

And despite the majority in Japan not being Christian they in the midst of this triple crisis as a people have displayed more Christian type values than we have seen in America during such disasters.
The whole "No Looting" phenomenon narrative in American headlines says a lot more about America than Japan IMHO.

Nicolás89
Mar 24th, 2011, 01:58 AM
Exactly!

And despite the majority in Japan not being Christian they in the midst of this triple crisis as a people have displayed more Christian type values than we have seen in America during such disasters.
The whole "No Looting" phenomenon narrative in American headlines says a lot more about America than Japan IMHO.

....................

Mary Cherry.
Mar 24th, 2011, 02:06 AM
I wouldn't trust the census for an accurate view on this sort of thing. Wasn't "Jedi" one of the most popular religions on some previous censuses? I hear this time some people are planning to put "Facebook" as their religion.

Ireland? Really? That's quite surprising given the massive Protestant/Catholic conflict! :unsure:

I think the conflict is more in Northern Ireland. That said, I always thought the Republic of Ireland was very much a Catholic country so I'm surprised it was mentioned.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 03:04 AM
Exactly!

And despite the majority in Japan not being Christian they in the midst of this triple crisis as a people have displayed more Christian type values than we have seen in America during such disasters.
The whole "No Looting" phenomenon narrative in American headlines says a lot more about America than Japan IMHO.

When did no looting become a Christian value?

Halardfan
Mar 24th, 2011, 10:08 AM
Exactly!

And despite the majority in Japan not being Christian they in the midst of this triple crisis as a people have displayed more Christian type values than we have seen in America during such disasters.
The whole "No Looting" phenomenon narrative in American headlines says a lot more about America than Japan IMHO.

As you know the amount of Christians in Japan is tiny so Christianity has very little to do with it.

Again I ask sincerely for your opinion. Did God create the disaster, or did he just allow it to happen?

azdaja
Mar 24th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Think harder and look beyond your obvious discontent towards religion and you'll see that some of those stuck that "cycle" are responsible for some of the greatest works of groundbreaking art (music, literature, movies, etc.), social revolution and change, and show more bravery in the face of malice than the average human being.
the other side of the coin is that for the most part of history institutions of organised religion had the ressources, controlled the education and stifled dissent so the only way to do anything positive was through religion. this has changed significantly only over past couple of centuries and since then organised religion has been an obstacle for the said activities far more often than not.

it's kinda like the argument that you need to be religious in order to be a good person. yes, religion can inspire you to do good things, but it is not needed and humans would have achieved a lot (or perhaps even more?) without it.

God never said life was going to be easy. It is through their faith that the Japanese people can recover and rebuild. :)
they will need faith. especially faith in their own abilities, in their own society and in humanity in general. because praying to non-existent gods won't heal the wounded, rescue the survivors, feed the hungry or prevent the nuclear catastrophy in fukushima.

When did no looting become a Christian value?
ikr, there have been even smaller catastrophies in countries populated by christians and the looting did happen. i remember the talk about black people "looting" and white people "looking for food" or something like that in new orleans just a few years ago.

Indeed!

"Religion" has not been the problem(speaking from a Christian viewpoint in America), it has been
people who use religion or justify things under the guise of religion.

Hitler is a prime example, hated Christianity, but being the pragmatist sought to use and exploit for political gain and power with the Church in Germany dropping the ball and bending to the will of the Third Reich instead of God.

To a large degree the Church's passivity(going along to get along compromising attitude)
and introversion itself has fostered a lot of this.

America was founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. The Ten Commandments still displayed at
the Supreme Court. Yes, wrongs have been committed by "men" having lost their way. Yet,
many "men" have also strive to make things right in the ongoing process.

Christian Principles have allowed for the most free and prosperous nation on earth. Yet, such
principles have been and continue to be eroded by those that have disdain for Christianity as
well as those whom call themselves Christian and yet betray(through ignoring or distorting) the principles they claim to uphold. And the results of such erosions are evident.
:facepalm:

america was founded by people who come from christian tradition (given the persecution of jews by christians throughout the centuries it is silly to talk about the "judeo-christian values), but they included separation of religion and state in the american constitution. and america is succsessful thanks to state sponsored capitalism and some less pleasant things such as expansionism and the will to use military power in order to protect its own interest. it's the same thing that made europe so successful actually, except that europe was not united in one country so they nearly destroyed themselves in 2 world wars.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 03:58 PM
When did no looting become a Christian value?

Thou shalt not steal? Looting isn't considered stealing?

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:03 PM
:facepalm:

america was founded by people who come from christian tradition (given the persecution of jews by christians throughout the centuries it is silly to talk about the "judeo-christian values), but they included separation of religion and state in the american constitution. and america is succsessful thanks to state sponsored capitalism and some less pleasant things such as expansionism and the will to use military power in order to protect its own interest. it's the same thing that made europe so successful actually, except that europe was not united in one country so they nearly destroyed themselves in 2 world wars.

How about you go read the US Constitution and then tell me
where the words "Separation of Church and State" is located.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof ...." does not equate to that phrase. It has been to keep
the Government out of the Church(unlike England), not the Church out of the government.

"state sponsored capitalism" is more like China these days.
True Capitalism America hasn't had for decades.

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:03 PM
Thou shalt not steal? Looting isn't considered stealing?

Paneru, I think he meant when did "no looting" become an exclusively (or quasi-exclusive) Christian value.

I can't name any culture or religion that honors looting. Can you?

Calling no looting a "Christian-type" value pretty much implies that it's not almost universal. Please show us how many other religions and non-Christian societies honor looting.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:21 PM
At the end of the day people will believe as they choose to believe.

And speaking from the viewpoint of Christians these days are going to be tough. Jesus Himself warned of the love of the Church waxing cold because of lawlessness and iniquity. And IMO, such things will be perpetrated by those "claiming" religion when in the veins of a Hitler, simply see it as a means to their desired ends, outwardly praising while inwardly detesting it(yet outwardly their actions show the truth, i.e. You shall know them by their fruit). In essence, watch not what they say but what they do.

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:26 PM
At the end of the day people will believe as they choose to believe.

And speaking from the viewpoint of Christians these days are going to be tough. Jesus Himself warned of the love of the Church waxing cold because of lawlessness and iniquity. And IMO, such things will be perpetrated by those "claiming" religion when in the veins of a Hitler, simply see it as a means to their desired ends, outwardly praising while inwardly detesting it(yet outwardly their actions show the truth, i.e. You shall know them by their fruit). In essence, watch not what they say but what they do.

Well going by stats, there will be far fewer people praising it inwardly or outwardly in a couple of decades. Sorry for the dire reality. So I guess we don't have to watch them at all.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:38 PM
Well going by stats, there will be far fewer people praising it inwardly or outwardly in a couple of decades. Sorry for the dire reality. So I guess we don't have to watch them at all.

Maybe so, but I would not dismiss the influence and the damage
that can be, will be, and has been done(if history is to be learned from).

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:55 PM
Maybe so, but I would not dismiss the influence and the damage
that can be, will be, and has been done(if history is to be learned from).

What damage has been done? I hope you follow up and not run away like you do every time, and like you just did in the reply previous to this one.

The Czech Republic is now majority non-religious, and I see that they are doing rather well.

In any case, this has always been the argument of choice for Conservatives. They used it when they supported slavery, when they opposed feminism and the women's movement and now when they oppose gay marriage. The arguments are strikingly similar: that these institutions are a cornerstone of human society that cannot survive in prosperity without them. And guess what? They lost EVERY time. The Conservatives have always been on the wrong side of history. While society chooses to move forward, they desperately cling to the old order, always losing.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:15 PM
What damage has been done? I hope you follow up and not run away like you do every time, and like you just did in the reply previous to this one.

The Czech Republic is now majority non-religious, and I see that they are doing rather well.

In any case, this has always been the argument of choice for Conservatives. They used it when they supported slavery, when they opposed feminism and the women's movement and now when they oppose gay marriage. The arguments are strikingly similar: that these institutions are a cornerstone of human society that cannot survive in prosperity without them. And guess what? They lost EVERY time. The Conservatives have always been on the wrong side of history. While society chooses to move forward, they desperately cling to the old order, always losing.

What damage has been done? So, religion has not been used by people whom's heart are no more religious than an atheist but will use the religion to manipulate? Okay then.

FYI, if I feel I am getting nowhere, going round and round, or just am not gonna get an honest discussion I will and do ignore. And well, their has been much to ignore, but I'll let that be.

And by "Conservatives" you do not mean it as the political term today, right? As What is deemed Conservative adhering to the political scape of today, they weren't the one's who supported slavery as a party.

Anyways, indeed you have made my case. Religion(speaking from the Christianity viewpoint) has been used to oppress. Religious men have caused(purposely or out of ignorance) it and Religious men have ended it. As for gay marriage, I believe gays should be allowed to be married, yet the Church has a right to protest and at the very least deny marriage in their Church if they so wish.

The impact of values cannot be denied, but one must also understand that man is not perfect. And even the most well intentioned of Religious can be misguided, manipulated, or even seek to purposely abuse for sinister means.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:20 PM
Maybe so, but I would not dismiss the influence and the damage
that can be, will be, and has been done(if history is to be learned from).

I think history has taught us that it's the existence of religion that's cause the damage and not the other way around.

Hitler is an extreme example, of course, but we can't know for sure the true intentions of all the other wars that have been waged in the name of religion. Missionaries have cause the world's greatest and most lasting problems, wouldn't you agree?

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:24 PM
I think history has taught us that it's the existence of religion that's cause the damage and not the other way around.

Hitler is an extreme example, of course, but we can't know for sure the true intentions of all the other wars that have been waged in the name of religion. Missionaries have cause the world's greatest and most lasting problems, wouldn't you agree?

So, if man never had religion then all would be right with the world?

Am I being unclear here about the manipulation of religion?

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:31 PM
What damage has been done? So, religion has not been used by people whom's heart are no more religious than an atheist but will use the religion to manipulate? Okay then.

FYI, if I feel I am getting nowhere, going round and round, or just am not gonna get an honest discussion I will and do ignore. And well, their has been much to ignore, but I'll let that be.

And by "Conservatives" you do not mean it as the political term today, right? As What is deemed Conservative adhering to the political scape of today, they weren't the one's who supported slavery as a party.

Anyways, indeed you have made my case. Religion(speaking from the Christianity viewpoint) has been used to oppress. Religious men have caused(purposely or out of ignorance) it and Religious men have ended it. As for gay marriage, I believe gays should be allowed to be married, yet the Church has a right to protest and at the very least deny marriage in their Church if they so wish.

The impact of values cannot be denied, but one must also understand that man is not perfect. And even the most well intentioned of Religious can be misguided, manipulated, or even seek to purposely abuse for sinister means.

Organized religion in its essence is manipulative and biased. Take the concept of baptism for example. It's a tool that's used by Christianity to divide believers from non-believers. And if your baby is not baptized, it will go to hell. Of course if you believe that, what must you think of other children who aren't baptized? Otherwise, what's the point of baptizing your child? It's teaching people to judge whomever is different as somehow less than.

Back in the day, in my early years in HS, I used to volunteer and teach catechism to younger students who are preparing for confirmation (where someone reaffirms his or her commitment to the faith) at my church. On the off-week that we don't meet with our students, I meet with the other volunteers with someone from the ministry to go over the following week's lessons. In one of these meetings (which happened a couple of months after 9/11), we were reading through the book the students read, and it says in this book that baptism is scared, because those who are not baptized are spiritually dead. SPIRITUALLY DEAD. How is this book that's supposed to be grooming young Christians going to encourage impressionable minds that anyone who is different from them in that regard is in some way dead?

Same thing with this Chosen People business in Judaism.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:32 PM
So, if man never had religion then all would be right with the world?


Obviously not, but I'm sure we'd have far less problems.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:39 PM
Am I being unclear here about the manipulation of religion?

No. I get it. Religion is manipulated, but the reverse is also true: it does its fair share of manipulating. Just take a look at the 10 Commandments:

You shall not commit adultery. Really? This is part of the founding tenets of Judeo-Christianity? You think god is really out there, keeping track of people's romantic and sexual "indiscretions?"

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:53 PM
Organized religion in its essence is manipulative and biased. Take the concept of baptism for example. It's a tool that's used by Christianity to divide believers from non-believers. And if your baby is not baptized, it will go to hell. Of course if you believe that, what must you think of other children who aren't baptized? Otherwise, what's the point of baptizing your child? It's teaching people to judge whomever is different as somehow less than.

Back in the day, in my early years in HS, I used to volunteer and teach catechism to younger students who are preparing for confirmation (where someone reaffirms his or her commitment to the faith) at my church. On the off-week that we don't meet with our students, I meet with the other volunteers with someone from the ministry to go over the following week's lessons. In one of these meetings (which happened a couple of months after 9/11), we were reading through the book the students read, and it says in this book that baptism is scared, because those who are not baptized are spiritually dead. SPIRITUALLY DEAD. How is this book that's supposed to be grooming young Christians going to encourage impressionable minds that anyone who is different from them in that regard is in some way dead?

Same thing with this Chosen People business in Judaism.

I can get behind the "Organized Religion"(from a CPOV) part as to what the Church has become, more about rules, regulations, traditions, money, and power than having a personal relationship with God and showing the love of Christ in your everyday life.

As far as baptism, Christ was baptized thus Christians get baptized. However, that notion of babies and children are more legalization than holding any sensible merit, IMO. I personally believe one should be baptized when they can understand what it means and what they are taking part in.

I agree that I think the Church has a whole(though many denominations) makes too much and actually splinter themselves over it. And it all becomes very legalistic.

I've read this:
All of us must repent and believe. That is the only way to salvation.

Baptism is the testimony, if you will, of our willingness to be united in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is an outward sign to the world that we have been born again into the kingdom of God, but it is not the way to salvation.

Baptism adds nothing to salvation. Salvation is Jesus. It is His name: remember that Yeshua (Jesus) means salvation. Let us not miss the point of who salvation is. He is not a "dip into water", but our Creator, Lover, and Savior. We either have Him or we don't.

There is only one salvation--even Jesus Christ, our Lord.

http://www.acts17-11.com/dialogs_baptism.html

As for the Chosen People, not sure what you are getting at.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:56 PM
No. I get it. Religion is manipulated, but the reverse is also true: it does its fair share of manipulating. Just take a look at the 10 Commandments:

You shall not commit adultery. Really? This is part of the founding tenets of Judeo-Christianity? You think god is really out there, keeping track of people's romantic and sexual "indiscretions?"

Okay, good.

Well, I don't get what is "manipulating" about God not wanting a man or woman whom have sworn vows to each other for life to not be unfaithful. I don't think it is about "keeping track" but if you are a believer and swear an oath before God of fidelity, well, didn't you willingly agree to this deal?

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:59 PM
Obviously not, but I'm sure we'd have far less problems.

Okay, but isn't that an issue of "man" more so than religion. In the sense that anything used for good can be manipulated or distorted for nefarious purposes? In that sense, religion or not man can take anything a make or evil as is man's capacity for great good and great evil.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:59 PM
As for the Chosen People, not sure what you are getting at.

When someone is chosen, there are others who are not.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 06:05 PM
When someone is chosen, there are others who are not.

Oh, you mean so far as the whole setting apart and differentiating.

Well, not really sure how to answer that. I mean, if you are a believer, the
Bible does say that they are His Chosen People. Yet, Jesus died for all(Jew & Gentile).

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
~Galations 3:8

So, I guess at the end of the day in Christ that all melts away.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 06:10 PM
Okay, good.

Well, I don't get what is "manipulating" about God not wanting a man or woman whom have sworn vows to each other for life to not be unfaithful. I don't think it is about "keeping track" but if you are a believer and swear an oath before God of fidelity, well, didn't you willingly agree to this deal?

My problem is that this "deal" exists.

Of course there's no arguing around the fact that believers can believe whatever they want and behave accordingly. But why is that part of the 10 Commandments? Why do you need swear to each other for life? Why is this the only type of commitment recognized by the church? The fact that the Christian god is this invested in how people go about their romantic and sexual lives that it needs to be included in the 10 most important commandments of the faith baffles me. Why? Is it because the church wants to monopolize people's sexual expression? It's not in the 10 Commands: Thou Shall Not Betray Your Friend, Thou Shall Not Abandon Your Child, but this idea of infidelity in a sexual and romantic sense is there twice.

Paneru
Mar 24th, 2011, 06:34 PM
My problem is that this "deal" exists.

Of course there's no arguing around the fact that believers can believe whatever they want and behave accordingly. But why is that part of the 10 Commandments? Why do you need swear to each other for life? Why is this the only type of commitment recognized by the church? The fact that the Christian god is this invested in how people go about their romantic and sexual lives that it needs to be included in the 10 most important commandments of the faith baffles me. Why? Is it because the church wants to monopolize people's sexual expression? It's not in the 10 Commands: Thou Shall Not Betray Your Friend, Thou Shall Not Abandon Your Child, but this idea of infidelity in a sexual and romantic sense is there twice.

Well, obviously fidelity means a lot to God.

Maybe the fact that this can be expanded is a reason? Meaning, if someone is unfaithful
in this most intimate human-to-human committment then what is it to mean to the other
things where "fidelity" goes beyond the sexual or romantic meaning?

I really don't know, more questions than answers.

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2011, 06:50 PM
My problem is that this "deal" exists.

Of course there's no arguing around the fact that believers can believe whatever they want and behave accordingly. But why is that part of the 10 Commandments? Why do you need swear to each other for life? Why is this the only type of commitment recognized by the church? The fact that the Christian god is this invested in how people go about their romantic and sexual lives that it needs to be included in the 10 most important commandments of the faith baffles me. Why? Is it because the church wants to monopolize people's sexual expression? It's not in the 10 Commands: Thou Shall Not Betray Your Friend, Thou Shall Not Abandon Your Child, but this idea of infidelity in a sexual and romantic sense is there twice.

Whoever wrote those religious books thought that controlling people's sexual lives was really important in maintaining social order.

Religion, in my view, was designed by a really smart bunch of dudes sitting in a cave who devised a plan that can keep people under check. On one hand, you promise people eternal happiness, eternal life.. and on the other hand, you force through a bunch of moral codes that people at the time thought were the most important.. of course, the question is then important for what? Were they really thinking about the benefit of humanity, or their own narrow benefits? Religion isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. It was just made ridiculous for the masses, and let's not forget that for most of human history, the large majority of humans were slaves to poverty and misery, so religion was really appealing as an escape. If you think about it, how remarkably efficient and genius that plan has been over thousands of years. It kept surviving mostly with the instrument of psychological fear and brainwash, spread from parent to child, and of course the control of society by the clergy was a huge factor and it still is in places where religion remains extremely dominant (i.e Muslim world).

The problem is also when people confuse religion with transcendence (i.e "spirituality"). It's only one from of transcendence, and in a non-religious society it will be substituted by others. For example, art and the aesthetics in general.

shap_half
Mar 24th, 2011, 07:31 PM
It kept surviving mostly with [...the] spread from parent to child

Thou shall honor your mother and father.

Obviously, I think religion is man-made.

moby
Mar 24th, 2011, 08:25 PM
What do you mean when you say religion is "man-made"?
I think it arose spontaneously, from man. I am doubtful that it is an act of deliberation.

Here I'm talking about the earliest forms of religion, i.e. folk religion.

I am doubtful that religion will become extinct.

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2011, 08:55 PM
What do you mean when you say religion is "man-made"?
I think it arose spontaneously, from man. I am doubtful that it is an act of deliberation.

Here I'm talking about the earliest forms of religion, i.e. folk religion.

I am doubtful that religion will become extinct.

I think you're talking about transcendence or "spirituality". That quality does seem to be hardwired in the human brain and it definitely arose spontaneously but it does not have to be related to a belief in deity. The "God gene" hypothesis is really a misnomer and it really talks about transcendence. I think it can be channeled in other venues.

As for being an act of deliberation, the complex system of mythology, story telling about creation, ethical principles..etc obviously is.

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2011, 10:03 PM
Are we better off without religion?

We should be careful about drawing rash conclusions from the correlation between religiosity and societal breakdown



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guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Tuesday 8 December 2009 18.23 GMT <li class="history">Article history (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/dec/08/religion-society-gregory-paul#history-link-box) Popular religious belief is caused by dysfunctional social conditions. This is the conclusion of the latest sociological research (pdf) (http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf) conducted by Gregory Paul (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_S._Paul). Far from religion (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/religion) benefiting societies, as the "moral-creator socioeconomic hypothesis" would have it, popular religion is a psychological mechanism for coping with high levels of stress and anxiety – or so he suggests.
I've long been interested in Paul's work because it addresses a whole bunch of fascinating questions – why are Americans so religious when the rest of the developed world is increasingly secular? Is religious belief beneficial to societies? does religion make people behave better?
Many believers assume, without question, that it does – even that there can be no morality without religion. They cite George Washington who believed that national morality could not prevail without religions principles, or Dostoevsky's famous claim (actually words of his fictional character Ivan Karamazov) that "without God all things are permitted". Then there are Americans defending their country's peculiarly high levels of popular religious belief and http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpt=646562478&adtype=1&size=1x1&type=3&campid=5336105959&toolid=10001 claiming that faith-based charity is better (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&tag=av089-21&linkCode=ur2&camp=1634&creative=6738&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2FWho-Really-Cares-Compasionate-Conservatism%2Fdp%2F0465008216%2Fref%3Dsr_1_2%3Fie %3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1260285618%26sr%3D8-2) than universal government provision.
Atheists, naturalists (http://www.naturalism.org/) and humanists fight back (http://www.humanism.org.uk/education/teachers/pre-school/take-religion-out-of-morality) claiming that it's perfectly possible to be moral without God. Evolutionary psychology reveals the common morality of our species, and the universal values of fairness, kindness, and reciprocity. But who is right? As a scientist I want evidence. What if – against all my own beliefs – it turns out that religious people really do behave better than atheists, and that religious societies are better in important respects than non-religious ones, then I would have cause to rethink some of my ideas.
This is where Gregory Paul and his research come in. I have often quoted his earlier, 2005, research (http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html) which showed strong positive correlations between nations' religious belief and levels of murder, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and other indicators of dysfunction. It seemed to show, at the very least, that being religious does not necessarily make for a better society. The real problem was that he was able to show only correlations, and the publicity (http://www.epjournal.net/Press_releases/index.html%3Fmodule=Articles;action=Article.public Show;ID=256;.html?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=December+Newsletter&utm_campaign=December+Newsletter&utm_term=Is+religiosity+beneficial+in+affluent+fir st+world+nations%3F) for his new research seemed to imply causation. If so this would have important implications indeed.
In this latest research Paul measures "popular religiosity" for developed nations, and then compares it against the "successful societies scale" (SSS) which includes such things such as homicides, the proportion of people incarcerated, infant mortality, sexually transmitted diseases, teenage births and abortions, corruption, income inequality, and many others. In other words it is a way of summing up a society's health. The outlier again and again is the US with a stunning catalogue of failures. On almost every measure the US comes out worse than any other 1st world developed nation, and it is also the most religious.
For this reason Paul carries out his analysis both with and without the US included, but either way the same correlations turn up. The 1st world nations with the highest levels of belief in God, and the greatest religious observance are also the ones with all the signs of societal dysfunction. These correlations are truly stunning. They are not "barely significant" or marginal in any way. Many, such as those between popular religiosity and teenage abortions and STDs have correlation coefficients (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_product-moment_correlation_coefficient) over 0.9 and the overall correlation with the SSS is 0.7 with the US included and 0.5 without. These are powerful relationships. But why?
The critical step from correlation to cause is not easy. Paul analyses all sorts of possibilities. Immigration and diversity do not explain the relationships, nor do a country's frontier past, nor its violent media, and so he is led to his conclusions: "Because highly secular democracies are significantly and regularly outperforming the more theistic ones, the moral-creator socioeconomic hypothesis is rejected in favour of the secular-democratic socioeconomic hypothesis"; "religious prosociality and charity are less effective at improving societal conditions than are secular government programmes".
He draws implications for human evolution too. Contrary to Dan Dennett (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/jul/16/daniel-dennett-belief-atheism), Pascal Boyer (http://artsci.wustl.edu/%7Epboyer/PBoyerHomeSite/index.html) and others, he argues that religion is not a deep-seated or inherited tendency. It is a crutch to which people turn when they are under extreme stress, "a natural invention of human minds in response to a defective habitat". Americans, he says, suffer appalling stress and anxiety due to the lack of universal health care, the competitive economic environment, and huge income inequalities, and under these conditions belief in a supernatural creator and reliance on religious observance provides relief. By contrast, the middle class majorities of western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have secure enough lives not to seek help from a supernatural creator.
These are powerful conclusions indeed, and if they are right the US in particular needs to take note. But are they? I still retain some caution. I keep reminding myself of the obvious point that in science it is all too easy to apply a more critical eye to research whose conclusions you disagree with. In this case the wiggly route from correlation to cause includes many questionable steps, and clearly a lot more research is needed. I was also dismayed by what might seem trivial – the appalling number of typos and other mistakes in the only version of the paper I could find – the one that is linked from the press release and several other places. There are missing words, added words, "their"s for "there"s and other errors that sometimes made it hard to follow. If the text was so poorly checked, I wondered, what about the data? Should I apply my critical concerns to those stunningly high correlations too?
I guess we'll find out, for this is a hot topic and a thriving research area. For now we need not necessarily agree with Paul that "it is probably not possible for a socially healthy nation to be highly religious" but he has certainly shown that the healthiest nations are also the least religious.




http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/dec/08/religion-society-gregory-paul

currie84
Mar 26th, 2011, 02:21 AM
one of the most ridiculous things i've read recently.What's happening is Christianity in wester countries is indeed gettin weaker and weaker.On the other hand i dare the author to go to these people and their children and tell em their religion will become extinct in a few years

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_QfVWU-2pVL4/StpZyHK_HJI/AAAAAAAAJGU/JQEtbHFOhX8/s1600/Muslims%2Bcarrying%2Bbanners%2Bdeclaring%2B%27Isla m%2Bwill%2Bdominate%2Bthe%2Bworld%27%2Bprotest%2Ba t%2Bthe%2Bvisit%2Bof%2BMr%2BWilders%2Bto%2Bthe%2BU K.jpg

image taken not in Islamamband but in London,UK,Europe.

Expat
Mar 26th, 2011, 02:46 AM
Christianity may be getting extinct in Europe but that doesn't mean religion is. It will be always be there be it in the form of Islam, Scientology or the church of global warming.

pov
Mar 26th, 2011, 03:00 AM
Modern "science" is a religion.

Apoleb
Mar 26th, 2011, 03:27 AM
*sigh*...

Anyway, yeah, religion most likely will never go extinct, as in completely absent without a trace. That's not really the point of the article, despite that BBC headline, and it's not a very interesting point to make either. Religion however is substantially being put in the background and is being largely discredited at a very high pace. There will always be superstitious people. Some people still believe in more ridiculous stuff like the Earth is flat or that Santa Claus is real.

As for the other bs, it's not really worth the time. Science is not a religion, and global warming is a scientific hypothesis and not a religion.

kwilliams
Mar 27th, 2011, 03:37 AM
Ireland? Really? That's quite surprising given the massive Protestant/Catholic conflict! :unsure:

There's no conflict whatsoever between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. What is true in Northern Ireland is not necessarily (or at all, in this case) true in Ireland. I know very few people my age (26) who have strong beliefs or practice their faith. Religiosity has been in a free-fall since the 90s.

Ryusuke Tenma
Mar 28th, 2011, 06:52 PM
Religion needs to become extinct in every country, not just 9.

What good does religion do?
It is one of the reasons for wars, crime, hate and discrimination.

It does no good, the world would be a happier place without religion.

kwilliams
Mar 29th, 2011, 01:49 PM
I'm Agnostic. I'm not sure if there's a God, a number of Gods or simply the force of the universe or whatever. Whether there is one or not, our interpretation of this God and his/her/its will is unquestionably flawed and I think it takes a massive amount of arrogance to assert that you know what God's will is...belief is simply belief, not knowledge. Even within individual religions and denominations, people have different views of what is and isn't acceptable or to what degree something is acceptable. The vast majority of people clearly do not have a complete idea of how to abide by God's rules, or even if we are expected to abide by any rules.

It'd be nice if there was a God and, more specifically, an afterlife, where I could go after I die and be with my loved ones forever...but I merely have a cautious hope in this, certainly no belief, so if it's not to be, I can live with that and make the most of my time in this world but when I really, really think about it dying not only scares me but makes me feel kind of hollow and alone. I can deal with losing my physical form but for my consciousness to slip away into nothingness, never to be retrieved, or reawoken, for all that I am to be gone forever? That sucks ass. I guess that feeling is why religion has taken such a hold on human societies and even dominated our societies.

It's a shame that something which could be of great comfort and good has been misappropriated so much and been responsible for such incalculable suffering. Nevertheless, it has and it cannot be ignored that something which can be so badly misused is not a beneficial part of society. This is the reason why Ireland is on this list. If I'm not mistaken Ireland is still the most Catholic country in the world, or was until recently but people have fallen away from the church in recent years because the church has corrupted our society and held our country back. Now, people are falling away from religion altogether and if there is a God, could s/he/it really blame people for this?

One thing which really makes my Agnosticism really lean towards Atheism is that I can't help but feel that religion is a product of our wost impulses, fear, manipulation, exclusion and vanity. It strikes me as silly that an omnipotent being with a universe of wonders to admire would show concern for our flawed little species. I mean, I love humanity but picturing God watching over us is somewhat akin to picturing Einstein watching Jersey Shore. If s/he/it does exist surely, our frailties and sins couldn't cause much concern as long as we try to do the right thing. I just can't believe my homosexuality would bother him much given that, for the most part, I'm a very good and kind person and that I almost always try to do right by people and haven't really ever screwed anyone over.