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Would the world be a better place without religion?

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As for secular groups visiting hospitals, I rather think visiting the dead/dying is something you do if invited to do so. I'd rather secular institutions not invite themselves into people's lives like the religious do during such vulnerable times.

 

That's your prerogative, and i'm certainly not suggesting any group of people, religious or secular, should inflict themselves upon the dying. But many hospital deaths are sad and lonely affairs - our society just seems to accept that as given. For this reason many dying people do ask for emotional help. Not everyone will need it or want it: but it should be available to those who do want it. I have never come across a secular role that satisfies this function. Anyway, i'm happy to chat about palliative care but perhaps as a separate discussion.

 

My main point in raising the subject was to illustrate that religions still provide services currently unavailable via secular means. I will give personal example, apologies if it becomes wishy washy.

 

I think we can agree that we experience our existence and this experience is coloured by our states of minds. It is as if all the ups and downs of life are viewed via a lens through which we can see a world darkly or luminously, or something in between. I used to see the world darkly, for whatever reason there is hatred in my being and it became consumptive. Via meditative methods i changed the lens through which i viewed the world. The strangest thing is that this method dissolves the sense of self. In science we find no ghost in the machine and i think most atheists would agree there is no soul or permanent self, yet they experience life as if they are a homunculus just behind the eyes. I find life much more pleasant when viewed via this lens, and it was only through the contemplative traditions of Buddhism and Taoism that i was able to find it.

 

Science is a great tool for navigating the objective world, and can offer us insights into the subjective world. It can show us that there is no ghost in the machine. But it cannot make us feel it.

 

There are other lenses through which to view life. I'm an atheist and i have no love for Christianity. But when i hear someone say that Jesus saved them from a darkness (perhaps the Johnny Cash story is one we will all know), i cannot try to dispel that illusion, because i know the choice is often this or despair.

 

Not everyone needs such support to find life a tolerable, perhaps even a pleasant, experience and that is happy news. But some do. Do not remove too many support structures until you have something else in place.

 

The video i linked in post 189 describes it much better.

 

We systematically teach our children maths and science and history: quite rightly. But we do not teach how to be content; how to live within our means; to love our brothers who don't know the law. They are far more subtle skills to teach, but no less important for it.

 

Of course not all religions are created equal in terms of how they interact with one another and with the non-religious. As long as a religion is okay with secularity, it isn't as likely to manifest problems. I think the issue that I and others are alluding to is that the dominant religions today have very loud factions at their extremes who dominate the conversations and want their religion (their version of their religion) in other people's lives.

 

Yes, i am not blind to this ugliness. I am just trying to represent the benign religious view which exists just as much as the malignant part. Any good surgeon will preserve as much healthy tissue as possible when removing a malignancy.

 

So the question is whether or not the harm done by these groups outweighs any benefits from groups that don't do this. And I would say no. I don't think it is a fair or even trade.

 

Certainly a pertinent question, but can we objectively answer it?

 

I think the question sets up a false dichotomy. All or nothing just polarises people. We should seek to preserve any good and benign parts, and starve the malignant parts.

Edited by Prometheus

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Dimreepr, have you ever been to the southern United States? Judging by your words, there's no way you've ever been exposed to true religious ignorance and zealotry. I invite you to visit us here in the Bible Belt my friend. Spend some time trying to engage with people in my hometown. You'll become just like me before you leave. You'll be ready to backhand a motherfucker with pair of brass knuckles (figuratively).

 

Evidence and reason is of no concern here. Its simply not taught to these people. You ask us if we've ever tried to make change on these things. Of course we have. It's IMPOSSIBLE! There is simply NO getting through to these people. I guarantee you that winning the lottery is more likely than changing people's minds around here. Its just not going to happen.

 

There's a saying that being atheist is like being the only sober person in the car and no one will let you drive. That's exactly right. You can have no clue my friend.

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That's your prerogative, and i'm certainly not suggesting any group of people, religious or secular, should inflict themselves upon the dying. But many hospital deaths are sad and lonely affairs - our society just seems to accept that as given. For this reason many dying people do ask for emotional help. Not everyone will need it or want it: but it should be available to those who do want it. I have never come across a secular role that satisfies this function. Anyway, i'm happy to chat about palliative care but perhaps as a separate discussion.

 

My main point in raising the subject was to illustrate that religions still provide services currently unavailable via secular means. I will give personal example, apologies if it becomes wishy washy.

 

I think we can agree that we experience our existence and this experience is coloured by our states of minds. It is as if all the ups and downs of life are viewed via a lens through which we can see a world darkly or luminously, or something in between. I used to see the world darkly, for whatever reason there is hatred in my being and it became consumptive. Via meditative methods i changed the lens through which i viewed the world. The strangest thing is that this method dissolves the sense of self. In science we find no ghost in the machine and i think most atheists would agree there is no soul or permanent self, yet they experience life as if they are a homunculus just behind the eyes. I find life much more pleasant when viewed via this lens, and it was only through the contemplative traditions of Buddhism and Taoism that i was able to find it.

 

Science is a great tool for navigating the objective world, and can offer us insights into the subjective world. It can show us that there is no ghost in the machine. But it cannot make us feel it.

 

There are other lenses through which to view life. I'm an atheist and i have no love for Christianity. But when i hear someone say that Jesus saved them from a darkness (perhaps the Johnny Cash story is one we will all know), i cannot try to dispel that illusion, because i know the choice is often this or despair.

 

Not everyone needs such support to find life a tolerable, perhaps even a pleasant, experience and that is happy news. But some do. Do not remove too many support structures until you have something else in place.

 

The video i linked in post 189 describes it much better.

 

We systematically teach our children maths and science and history: quite rightly. But we do not teach how to be content; how to live within our means; to love our brothers who don't know the law. They are far more subtle skills to teach, but no less important for it.

 

 

Yes, i am not blind to this ugliness. I am just trying to represent the benign religious view which exists just as much as the malignant part. Any good surgeon will preserve as much healthy tissue as possible when removing a malignancy.

 

 

Certainly a pertinent question, but can we objectively answer it?

 

I think the question sets up a false dichotomy. All or nothing just polarises people. We should seek to preserve any good and benign parts, and starve the malignant parts.

 

 

"For this reason many dying people do ask for emotional help."

 

And if they were to ask a secular group, I am sure that they would go. The key is that they ask.

 

"My main point in raising the subject was to illustrate that religions still provide services currently unavailable via secular means."

 

I don't think that is true. I think it is more common that people don't realize that there are secular groups that they can rely on.

 

" I find life much more pleasant when viewed via this lens, and it was only through the contemplative traditions of Buddhism and Taoism that i was able to find it."

 

And I found peace only when I abandoned religion and spirituality. Highlighting that religion and spirituality aren't necessary for finding peace and/or happiness. I think it is more commonly believed that religion provides this and that non-religion can't, but that is demonstrably incorrect. You find meditation peaceful and beneficial, but that is something you can do on your own, it doesn't require a religion.

 

"Science is a great tool for navigating the objective world, and can offer us insights into the subjective world. It can show us that there is no ghost in the machine. But it cannot make us feel it."

 

Secular =/= science

So I don't know why you have switched to talking about science.

 

"We systematically teach our children maths and science and history: quite rightly. But we do not teach how to be content; how to live within our means; to love our brothers who don't know the law. They are far more subtle skills to teach, but no less important for it."

 

Some of us try to teach our kids this. But there is a big difference between teaching and learning. I can't make anyone learn anything.

 

"Yes, i am not blind to this ugliness. I am just trying to represent the benign religious view which exists just as much as the malignant part. Any good surgeon will preserve as much healthy tissue as possible when removing a malignancy."

 

And like I said previously, I don't think the benign parts of religion or the beneficial parts of religion outweigh the negatives.

 

"I think the question sets up a false dichotomy. All or nothing just polarises (sic) people. We should seek to preserve any good and benign parts, and starve the malignant parts."

 

Which is why those of us who appear to be advocating that the world would be better without religion are promoting secularity. While we think the world would be a better place without religion, we aren't asking religion to go away, we are asking religion to leave us alone as well as anyone else who doesn't want it.

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And if they were to ask a secular group, I am sure that they would go. The key is that they ask.

 

I don't think that is true. I think it is more common that people don't realize that there are secular groups that they can rely on.

 

I didn't know there were secular groups providing this particular service. Could you provide contact info about some?

 

 

And I found peace only when I abandoned religion and spirituality. Highlighting that religion and spirituality aren't necessary for finding peace and/or happiness. I think it is more commonly believed that religion provides this and that non-religion can't, but that is demonstrably incorrect. You find meditation peaceful and beneficial, but that is something you can do on your own, it doesn't require a religion.

 

I never said it does require religion, only that religion is a common vessel.

 

 

Secular =/= science

So I don't know why you have switched to talking about science.

 

This was to preempt a potential objection, but since you have not raised it there was no need for it.

 

 

Some of us try to teach our kids this. But there is a big difference between teaching and learning. I can't make anyone learn anything.

 

I'd quite like some kind of group activity for kids where they can explore issues surrounding ethics, mental health, develop a sense of being in nature etc. through stories and play and the like. Don't much care if it is religious or secular. The scouts is the closest thing i can think of that fits the bill, though even they require an oath to God and to Queen (that must have changed by now?).

 

Of course secular groups can provide such services. My question is whether they do.

 

 

And like I said previously, I don't think the benign parts of religion or the beneficial parts of religion outweigh the negatives.

 

You and many others on this thread. I am ambivalent, but religion needs a voice in this debate otherwise this would just be another bash religion thread.

 

I've asked others to no avail - do you know of any data to support the claim?

 

 

...we aren't asking religion to go away...

 

Maybe you aren't asking, but others are.

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I live in the Southern US, the bible belt, I see religion encroaching into the rights of others regularly. I oppose these things by being active in my community. I have Many stripes of religious neighbors in my neighborhood, I never go out and try to convert them in any way.

 

I do not consider standing up for the rights of others to be intolerant. But I will react to the intolerance of others to the degree they are intolerant. I put up with being constantly told I am going to hell.

 

I fight against pseudo science being introduced into our schools and government as well as religious dogma. Why you would expect me or anyone else to roll over and ignore the fact that people are being attacked, killed, abused, denied basic human rights and trying to insert religious dogma into our society?

 

It is not intolerant to not tolerate those would would take my and others rights away. To allow them to do so is not tolerance it is surrender.

 

What can i do? I fight, resist, and do my best to ignore the intolerant unless they pose a threat to others and society at large.

 

Ah, the old bate and switch trick, I thought we were talking about terrorists, nevertheless +1, as we seem broadly in agreement.

 

I don't like any of the above either, and do what I can in the face of such intransigence, but you don't have to like what they do in order to tolerate them; the only chance to change them is to turn their dogma against them and love your enemies.

Dimreepr, have you ever been to the southern United States? Judging by your words, there's no way you've ever been exposed to true religious ignorance and zealotry. I invite you to visit us here in the Bible Belt my friend. Spend some time trying to engage with people in my hometown. You'll become just like me before you leave. You'll be ready to backhand a motherfucker with pair of brass knuckles (figuratively).

 

Evidence and reason is of no concern here. Its simply not taught to these people. You ask us if we've ever tried to make change on these things. Of course we have. It's IMPOSSIBLE! There is simply NO getting through to these people. I guarantee you that winning the lottery is more likely than changing people's minds around here. Its just not going to happen.

 

There's a saying that being atheist is like being the only sober person in the car and no one will let you drive. That's exactly right. You can have no clue my friend.

 

Then what can you do?

 

You'll become just like me before you leave. You'll be ready to backhand a motherfucker with pair of brass knuckles (figuratively).

 

 

Hate or frustration certainly isn't the answer, so no I wouldn't become like you because I wouldn't hurt myself with negative emotions that would have absolutely no effect on them.

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I didn't know there were secular groups providing this particular service. Could you provide contact info about some?

 

 

 

I never said it does require religion, only that religion is a common vessel.

 

 

 

This was to preempt a potential objection, but since you have not raised it there was no need for it.

 

 

 

I'd quite like some kind of group activity for kids where they can explore issues surrounding ethics, mental health, develop a sense of being in nature etc. through stories and play and the like. Don't much care if it is religious or secular. The scouts is the closest thing i can think of that fits the bill, though even they require an oath to God and to Queen (that must have changed by now?).

 

Of course secular groups can provide such services. My question is whether they do.

 

 

 

You and many others on this thread. I am ambivalent, but religion needs a voice in this debate otherwise this would just be another bash religion thread.

 

I've asked others to no avail - do you know of any data to support the claim?

 

 

 

Maybe you aren't asking, but others are.

 

"I didn't know there were secular groups providing this particular service. Could you provide contact info about some?"

 

There are many secular groups (like the American Humanist Association) that provide a variety of services. I don't know of any that specifically address the dying in hospitals, but I also don't know of any significant demand for that. Which is why I say that if people ask, I am sure that they can find the support they want.

 

"I never said it does require religion, only that religion is a common vessel.

 

Right, it is a common vessel but that doesn't mean it is the only one that people can rely on or use. Religion doesn't provide a unique service in this respect.

 

"This was to preempt a potential objection, but since you have not raised it there was no need for it."

 

Okay.

 

"I'd quite like some kind of group activity for kids where they can explore issues surrounding ethics, mental health, develop a sense of being in nature etc. through stories and play and the like. Don't much care if it is religious or secular. The scouts is the closest thing i can think of that fits the bill, though even they require an oath to God and to Queen (that must have changed by now?). Of course secular groups can provide such services. My question is whether they do. "

 

Yeah, the scouts are a bit fuzzy too about the "god" thing. Some individual troops don't care but some do. (I can't recall what program I was listening to that looked into this but they called several troops across the country pretending to be atheist parents looking to get their kid into scouts. Some troops allowed it, some wouldn't).

 

It would be great to see more widespread secular groups providing guidance for kids, but the demand isn't super high for this (especially in rural communities) and secular is often seen to mean "atheist" by some and atheists are often viewed very negatively by the religious. As a consequence, it is hard to get the support needed for some secular groups in some places because of the prejudices atheists encounter in many parts of the country. (the bible belt for instance would be a very difficult place to get something like that going).

 

In order to secular groups to be able to provide these services, the negative connotations surrounding atheists has to be better addressed.

 

atheism_image1.png

 

It is hard to accomplish anything to benefit large groups when the large groups don't like you because of who you are.

 

There is also Camp Quest: https://campquest.org

 

"You and many others on this thread. I am ambivalent, but religion needs a voice in this debate otherwise this would just be another bash religion thread."

 

Religion has plenty of voices advocating for it.

 

"I've asked others to no avail - do you know of any data to support the claim? "

 

I don't know what "data" you are referring to. Do you mean "data" for a cost/benefit analysis? That isn't determined using "data" so much as I assert that opinion based on my subjective opinions.

 

As I see it, the benefits of religion:

- community. For some, this is the best available way to interact with their neighbors.

- purpose. Some find positive things in their religion to keep them moving forward or doing good things.

- counseling/support. Tough times means that having someone to talk to can be a big benefit.

 

negatives:

- communities can become too isolated and insulated (in-group mentality)

- purpose can be negative or positive. One can have a positive purpose to help others, or a negative purpose to use violence and terror to push an agenda (be it the extreme ends of the spectrum like ISIS and abortion clinic bombings, or even trying to push political agendas to discriminate against people). And if people only do good things because they are being told to, then it isn't really a positive or a negative, it is more neutral.

- counseling/support from people who aren't always well qualified or trained to give it. I have a member of my extended family (I am going to leave it very vague as to who it is) who doesn't seek the mental health treatment that they need (as determined by my wife who is a licensed counselor) because they go to church to get it. So instead of helping to treat their mental health issues, they go to church and convince themselves it does something positive when it actually creates and exaggerates more problems (in this case, it has helped ruin relationships because not everyone in the family is christian)

 

So, the way I look at it is that any positive it provides can be countered with a negative. So then it comes down to two more things to consider:

1) are the positives unique to religion such that only it can provide them? Thereby making its positive benefits that much more important if they are the only viable source.

2) is the harm that they (religions) cause direct and long-lasting, or is it more temporary?

 

For 1) we have both acknowledged that no, religion is not the only entity that can provide these positive benefits. Which means that if we stop here, I would say religion has a neutral effect.

For 2) the harm is not temporary. The harm can be wars (which can also be fought for secular reasons, I am not suggesting that wars are only fought by the religious) or prejudiced legislation that does societal and individual harm. This could be harm by not allowing people of the same sex to marry or allowing women to get abortions, or it could be legislation in countries with established religions that will use corporal punishment or execution to persecute those who break the religious laws.

 

The answer to point 2 is what pushes me over the edge to say that religion has a net negative impact and that the world would be better in the long run without it. Now, replacing religion with secular institutions is no small feat and would clearly take a very long time to accomplish. But that is a reflection of how ingrained religions are in the world and not a reflection of how good they are.

 

"Maybe you aren't asking, but others are. "

 

I ask religion to go away and leave me alone in a secular sense and I think most people who don't like religion ask the same. For instance, I don't see any non-religious people advocating for wiping out religion through force but I do hear and see the religious doing that.

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Better place in what context? World itself is awful, full of disease, impermanent things, struggle and anything. Religion actually creates more pressure on people because of afterlife, being good - which are generally good qualities but those qualities I think appears because of certain unhappiness and unsatisfactory feelings which exists in people because of various reason.

 

 

Key to virtue is happiness, happy person do not kill, mock, generally gives more then take - because all those negative things come from certain feelings of unhappiness and unfulfillment. To defeat religion science needs develop way to keep people constantly happy and satisfied with their own experience and not conditioned about something. This is where is difference between true genuine cultivation like meditation and mind working and religion which is a lot of words which can not be proved.

 

I personally think that religion who can not prove things which that religion preach should be put under court law of fraud as they making a lot of money for selling people dreams.

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I personally think that religion who can not prove things which that religion preach should be put under court law of fraud as they making a lot of money for selling people dreams.

 

Then all religions should be labeled as frauds?

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Key to virtue is happiness, happy person do not kill, mock, generally gives more then take - because all those negative things come from certain feelings of unhappiness and unfulfillment. To defeat religion science needs develop way to keep people constantly happy and satisfied with their own experience and not conditioned about something.

 

Change the word happy for contentment and you have a point.

 

 

This is where is difference between true genuine cultivation like meditation and mind working and religion which is a lot of words which can not be proved.

 

 

That doesn't mean the words aren't true.

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contentment is results of happiness. if you are happy 24/7 you become fulfilled just by experience and if you fulfilled by that experience you just doing what is needed to do around you rather then mess up things pointlessly.

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Dimreepr, have you ever been to the southern United States? Judging by your words, there's no way you've ever been exposed to true religious ignorance and zealotry. I invite you to visit us here in the Bible Belt my friend. Spend some time trying to engage with people in my hometown. You'll become just like me before you leave. You'll be ready to backhand a motherfucker with pair of brass knuckles (figuratively).

 

Evidence and reason is of no concern here. Its simply not taught to these people. You ask us if we've ever tried to make change on these things. Of course we have. It's IMPOSSIBLE! There is simply NO getting through to these people. I guarantee you that winning the lottery is more likely than changing people's minds around here. Its just not going to happen.

 

There's a saying that being atheist is like being the only sober person in the car and no one will let you drive. That's exactly right. You can have no clue my friend.

Dimreepr, I'm quoting this here because you obviously didn't see it. Please read it, consider it, and think about it. You sound like a guy who has never seen true religious zealotry or ignorance in your life. You'd have a much different tone if you had. Edited by Tampitump

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contentment is results of happiness. if you are happy 24/7 you become fulfilled just by experience and if you fulfilled by that experience you just doing what is needed to do around you rather then mess up things pointlessly.

 

Nope you've got that backwards, no one can be happy 24/7 it's an emotion and can only be fleeting. You pick the wrong cup to fill.

Dimreepr, I'm quoting this here because you obviously didn't see it. Please read it, consider it, and think about it. You sound like a guy who has never seen true religious zealotry or ignorance in your life. You'd have a much different tone if you had.

 

 

The thing is my friend, whilst I don't have contact with the type of intransigence (religious) that you experience, I do experience similar intransigence daily, bigotry/intolerance/hatred can be just as dogmatic and just as destructive.

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That doesn't mean the words aren't true.

 

 

No one can prove religion is wrong, that is how they suck you in. They make these silly claims about not needing proof or that negative proof is the same as evidence.

 

No religion has any basis in reality, neither does bigfoot, the lock ness monster, Thor, Zeus, Fae, Adrianna, the list is long and depressing. But taking your of "that doesn't mean the words aren't true" then you have lend equal credence to all of those things as well.

 

Secular humanism is not only quite capable of providing the same things religions do but at a much more efficient services per dollar. The lions share of money donated to churches simply go into the coffers of the church to build and maintain huge churches and provide pastors with pay and in many cases multimillion dollar homes, private jets and other luxuries while begging money from people cannot afford it but the treat of hell fire provides the incentive for them to pay up and do with out.

 

Secular organizations are far more common than people think, they are getting more numerous and can replace anything the church can do but not make people rich by coercing the sheep to pay for their lavish life styles. Churches do not have to account for any of the money they bring in but secular charities do.

 

I'll go with the organizations that have to honest over organizations who are clearly dishonest...

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No one can prove religion is wrong, that is how they suck you in. They make these silly claims about not needing proof or that negative proof is the same as evidence.

 

No religion has any basis in reality, neither does bigfoot, the lock ness monster, Thor, Zeus, Fae, Adrianna, the list is long and depressing. But taking your of "that doesn't mean the words aren't true" then you have lend equal credence to all of those things as well.

 

Secular humanism is not only quite capable of providing the same things religions do but at a much more efficient services per dollar. The lions share of money donated to churches simply go into the coffers of the church to build and maintain huge churches and provide pastors with pay and in many cases multimillion dollar homes, private jets and other luxuries while begging money from people cannot afford it but the treat of hell fire provides the incentive for them to pay up and do with out.

 

Secular organizations are far more common than people think, they are getting more numerous and can replace anything the church can do but not make people rich by coercing the sheep to pay for their lavish life styles. Churches do not have to account for any of the money they bring in but secular charities do.

 

I'll go with the organizations that have to honest over organizations who are clearly dishonest...

 

And round we go again -1 this time (this is getting rather tedious), the only claim I've made, in this thread and others, is that the major religions were trying to teach contentment and that God/s, or your incredulity, aren't needed for that to be true.

 

Every bad thing you associate with religion is present in a secular society and the ONLY difference between the two is that secularism doesn't try to teach one to be content.

Edited by dimreepr

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I don't know of any that specifically address the dying in hospitals, but I also don't know of any significant demand for that.

 

I'm glad you don't see the need for it, but it is a well known problem in nursing.

 

 

In order to secular groups to be able to provide these services, the negative connotations surrounding atheists has to be better addressed.

 

I agree. Fortunately not a problem where i live. It's strange, i read about the American founding fathers and i think i'll jump ship. But then i hear these sort of things and it sounds like a truly awful place. And then Trump happened.

 

 

Religion has plenty of voices advocating for it.

 

Sure, just not here. Also, there are religious people who would rather not be associated with the fundamentalist religious types with which you are unfortunately so familiar. I'm trying to advocate for them.

 

 

I don't know what "data" you are referring to. Do you mean "data" for a cost/benefit analysis? That isn't determined using "data" so much as I assert that opinion based on my subjective opinions.

 

I was just wondering whether we can do better. For instance, it has been mentioned that more secular societies are more peaceful. This should be measurable.

 

The only meta-analysis i could find on the subject suggests religiosity is a moderate deterrent to crime - but i've not seen the full-text so can't assess its rigour. There are of course other measures of 'better' than reduced crime, but we have never got to grips with what 'better' means on this thread

 

 

I ask religion to go away and leave me alone in a secular sense and I think most people who don't like religion ask the same. For instance, I don't see any non-religious people advocating for wiping out religion through force but I do hear and see the religious doing that.

 

Look harder.

Religion has plenty of voices advocating for it.

 

Sure, just not here. Also, there are religious people who would rather not be associated with the fundamentalist religious types. I'm trying to advocate for them.

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I'm glad you don't see the need for it, but it is a well known problem in nursing.

 

 

 

I agree. Fortunately not a problem where i live. It's strange, i read about the American founding fathers and i think i'll jump ship. But then i hear these sort of things and it sounds like a truly awful place. And then Trump happened.

 

 

 

Sure, just not here. Also, there are religious people who would rather not be associated with the fundamentalist religious types with which you are unfortunately so familiar. I'm trying to advocate for them.

 

 

 

I was just wondering whether we can do better. For instance, it has been mentioned that more secular societies are more peaceful. This should be measurable.

 

The only meta-analysis i could find on the subject suggests religiosity is a moderate deterrent to crime - but i've not seen the full-text so can't assess its rigour. There are of course other measures of 'better' than reduced crime, but we have never got to grips with what 'better' means on this thread

 

 

 

Look harder.

 

Sure, just not here. Also, there are religious people who would rather not be associated with the fundamentalist religious types. I'm trying to advocate for them.

 

"I'm glad you don't see the need for it, but it is a well known problem in nursing."

 

I mean a specific demand for secular people/groups to comfort the dying

 

"I agree. Fortunately not a problem where i live. It's strange, i read about the American founding fathers and i think i'll jump ship. But then i hear these sort of things and it sounds like a truly awful place. And then Trump happened."

 

It isn't as if the prejudice is overt and explicit (most times). It is the implicit and cultural biases that create the most problems. I had a job at a retail store while in college that I liked and I got along with everyone (for the most part) really well. But when they learned I was an atheist and a co-worker was non-religious (I think she might have identified as agnostic), attitudes changed on a dime. We weren't fired but both of us got fed up with how we were being treated and quit (she had been with the company for around a decade).

 

It is definitely worse in places like the south (any religious rural area probably).

 

"Sure, just not here. Also, there are religious people who would rather not be associated with the fundamentalist religious types with which you are unfortunately so familiar. I'm trying to advocate for them. "

 

And I would argue that very often even the moderates defend the extremists, even if they don't want to be affiliated directly with them. (I don't see this for groups like ISIS. Meaning that I don't see moderate Muslim sects defending them). For instance, you'd probably be hard pressed to find a moderate christian in the US who condones abortion clinic bombings, but they would almost certainly defend the theology behind the christian groups who have perpetrated these heinous acts.

 

"I was just wondering whether we can do better. For instance, it has been mentioned that more secular societies are more peaceful. This should be measurable. "

 

Well, it would be mostly qualitative information but we can look at it.

 

Happiest countries on Earth according to the World Happiness Report Update 2016 from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the UN. (http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/16/travel/worlds-happiest-countries-united-nations/)

 

Top ten:

1) Denmark

2) Switzerland

3) Iceland

4) Norway

5) Finland

6) Canada

7) Netherlands

8) New Zealand

9) Australia

10) Sweden

 

Bottom ten:

1) Burundi

2) Syria

3) Togo

4) Afghanistan

5) Benin

6) Rwanda

7) Guinea

8) Liberia

9) Tanzania

10) Madagascar

 

Now let's compare the most and least religious countries and then find the rank of religiousness for the previously mentioned 20. (sources: http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/least-religious-countries-in-the-world.html and http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/most-religious-countries-in-the-world.html)

 

Least religious:

1) China (7% religious, 83rd happiness)

2) Japan (13% religious, 53rd happiness)

3) Estonia (16% religious, 72nd happiness)

4) Sweden (19% religious, 10th happiness)

5) Denmark (19% religious, 1st happiness)

6) Czech Republic (23% religious, 27th happiness)

7) Hong Kong (24% religious, 75th happiness)

8) Netherlands (24% religious, 7th happiness)

9) United Kingdom (30% religious, 23rd happiness)

10) Vietnam (34% religious, 96th ranking happiness)

 

Average happiness ranking: 44.7

Max: 96th

Min: 1st

 

Most religious

1) Niger (100% religious, 103rd happiness)

2) Sri Lanka (99% religious, 117th happiness)

3) Malawi (99% religious, 132nd religious)

4) Indonesia (99% religious, 70th happiness)

5) Yemen (99% religious, 147th happiness)

6) Thailand (94% religious, 33rd happiness)

7) Armenia (93% religious, 121st happiness)

8) Bangladesh (93% religious, 110th happiness)

9) Georgia (93% religious, 126th happiness)

10) Morocco (93% religious, 90th happiness)

 

Average happiness ranking: 104.9

Max: 147th

Min: 33rd

 

And then a measure of importance of religion by country for the ten happiest countries. I am using this wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country).The percentages I am quoting are those who say that religion is important in their lives:

Top ten:

1) Denmark 19%

2) Switzerland 41%

3) Iceland NA?

4) Norway 21%

5) Finland 28%

6) Canada 42%

7) Netherlands 33%

8) New Zealand 33%

9) Australia 32%

10) Sweden 17%

 

Avg: 29.6%

Max: 42%

Min: 17%

 

and the bottom ten:

1) Burundi 98%

2) Syria 89%

3) Togo 80%

4) Afghanistan 97%

5) Benin 93%

6) Rwanda 95%

7) Guinea 97%

8) Liberia 94%

9) Tanzania 89%

10) Madagascar 93%

 

Avg: 92.5%

Max: 98%

Min: 80%

 

 

 

Obviously there are other factors that go into happiness and religiousness too, but if we just look at the data I have pulled thus far we can make some interesting observations:

1) Happiest countries are less religious

2) The happiest countries consider religion to be less important in their lives

3) The unhappiest countries are more religious

4) The unhappiest countries consider religion to be more important in their lives than the happiest countries do

 

 

"The only meta-analysis i could find on the subject suggests religiosity is a moderate deterrent to crime - but i've not seen the full-text so can't assess its rigour. There are of course other measures of 'better' than reduced crime, but we have never got to grips with what 'better' means on this thread "

 

I am sure crime is a difficult one to flesh out because that may be more strongly controlled by whether or not it is a first-world country or not. You'll have more crimes accurately reported in developed nations because you have the resources to do so and that might mean that they are skewed a bit.

 

"Look harder."

 

I didn't say they don't exist, but they are not common. Whereas you can turn on the TV here and find channels like the 700 club who preach this kind of hatred and intolerance to the masses.

Edited by TheBeardedDude

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And round we go again -1 this time (this is getting rather tedious), the only claim I've made, in this thread and others, is that the major religions were trying to teach contentment and that God/s, or your incredulity, aren't needed for that to be true.

 

Teach contentment? Please define contentment and how it is taught by religions? Please tell us how teaching people to worship a mythological being promotes contentment? Tell us how teaching that killing someone who is homosexual promotes contentment?

 

Abrahamic religions teach all sorts of things that are abominations that people have to be killed for:

 

Working on sundays

Wearing clothing made of two different types of thread

Not putting the proper fringes on your robes

Having sex outside of marriage

 

But! They allow slavery, genocide, killing at gods demand, human sacrifice, killing anyone who tries to get you to worship another mythological monster, cutting off the foreskins of hundreds of men as an offering to god, 613 laws that no one can frollow all of yet breaking them means hellfire.

 

 

 

 

Every bad thing you associate with religion is present in a secular society and the ONLY difference between the two is that secularism doesn't try to teach one to be content.

 

Not true, secular charities do not threaten you with hell fire to coerce money from you. Secular charities do not teach children they are dirty sinners deserving of hell. Secular charities have to keep track of the money, report how much is taken and and what it is used for. Secular charities do not use the lions share of money to proselytize or build grand buildings to honor a mythological being that lives in the sky, they do not pay popular pastors with multiple multi million dollar mansions, private jets, secular charities are not a route to fame and fortune.

 

Far from mainstream religion rejecting fundamentalists, fundamentalism drives the mainstream churches. Secular charities do not refuse to help people who do not accept their belief systems, they do not try to change laws to follow some ancient dogma that denies rights to anyone who they do not agree with based on the dogma of ancient books that are totally wrong about everything testable they claim about the natural world.

 

Secular charities do not try to inject some ancient dogma into public schools disguised as science.

Edited by Moontanman

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With regard to overall personality differences among believers, we really have to consider that this can vary significantly depending on the sample. The Big Five personality inventory is a factor-structure of personality that is consistent across cultures and stable across the life span. The three factors that are most strongly related to religiousness are agreeableness (positively), conscientiousness (positively), and openness to experience (mixed depending on location). I recall reading that most findings of a positive association of religiosity with openness came from Europe rather than the US.

 

Five-Factor Model Personality Traits, Spirituality/Religiousness, and Mental Health among People Living With HIV

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2739880/

 

While I have questions about their measurement (the IWSRI) which includes a subscale on compassion and has no subscale regarding fundamentalism, which they acknowledge would have been negatively realted to openness, I still found their discussion of religiosity versus spirituality enlgihtening.

 

 

In broad terms, the concept of religiousness captures adherence to traditional religious creeds, often centered around a specific community of faith (Hill et al.; Saucier & Skrzypinska, 2006). At a more specific level, religiousness encompasses both a specific belief system and a set of behaviors (e.g., prayer, church attendance) associated with these beliefs. Spirituality, in contrast, typically refers to subjective, non-church-centered experiences of the transcendent which imbue everyday life with a sense of deeper meaning (e.g., Emmons, 1999). Some conceptualizations of spirituality also encompass a sense of communion with humanity and compassion for others (e.g., LaPierre, 1994; Elkins, 2001). Although spirituality and religiousness are not mutually exclusive (Hill et al.), there is growing evidence suggesting that they are empirically distinct concepts (Saucier, 2000; Saucier & Skrzypinska, 2006).

 

As it turns out, spirituality is consistently related to higher openness, whereas non-spiritual measures of religiosity are more likely to be negatively correlated with openness, particularly the facet of openness to values.

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I mean a specific demand for secular people/groups to comfort the dying

 

The dying don't get surveyed very much, the dead even less so.

 

 

It isn't as if the prejudice is overt and explicit (most times). It is the implicit and cultural biases that create the most problems. I had a job at a retail store while in college that I liked and I got along with everyone (for the most part) really well. But when they learned I was an atheist and a co-worker was non-religious (I think she might have identified as agnostic), attitudes changed on a dime. We weren't fired but both of us got fed up with how we were being treated and quit (she had been with the company for around a decade).

 

It is definitely worse in places like the south (any religious rural area probably).

 

Even if not fired i would have thought this sufficient to bring your employer to a tribunal under harassment or discrimination at work?

 

Either way, i fear removing religion would not solve the situation. Human in-group behaviour is obviously strong in these communities and would just manifest in some other way.

 

I guess the pertinent question is to what degree is religiosity causative or just correlated with in-group behaviour. MonDie's interesting post might help explore that a little.

 

 

And I would argue that very often even the moderates defend the extremists...

 

Then by definition they are not moderate.

 

But there are plenty of religious people who do condemn extremists. Whenever i try to point out there are benign religious people everyone points out that there are malignant religious people. I accept this, which gives credence to my claim that religious people and religions themselves are not homogenous. And yet, 219 posts later, we are still treating them as if they are. Even a split like Abrahamic and others would be a start.

 

Well, it would be mostly qualitative information but we can look at it.

.

.

.

I am sure crime is a difficult one to flesh out because that may be more strongly controlled by whether or not it is a first-world country or not. You'll have more crimes accurately reported in developed nations because you have the resources to do so and that might mean that they are skewed a bit.

 

I appreciate the effort, this is the sort of thing i was looking for, though, as you say, it's qualitative. To do the subject justice someone would have to spend some time collecting and analysing a dataset, checking for confounding variables etc... I'm surprised there isn't more on it.

 

But the meta-analysis is far more rigorous than your quick attempt - why are you so quick to dismiss it?

 

The 60 studies it includes all appear to be from the US. I can send the full-text to you if you wish.

 

 

I didn't say they don't exist, but they are not common. Whereas you can turn on the TV here and find channels like the 700 club who preach this kind of hatred and intolerance to the masses.

 

Sorry, but when you said any i thought you meant any.

 

...I don't see any non-religious people advocating for wiping out religion through force but I do hear and see the religious doing that.

 

Less? Maybe, depends if we count the Nazi's trying to eradicate Jews. I'm not sure how secular the Nazi's could be considered: my understanding is that religion wasn't important to motivating their ideals. Then there was the great purge.

 

I don't doubt things are as bad as you say they are in your corner of the world. But in the far east religious freedoms are curtailed by secular states.

 

 

Edit: for grammar/clarity.

Edited by Prometheus

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Teach contentment? Please define contentment and how it is taught by religions?

 

  • [mass noun] A state of happiness and satisfaction:

  •  

    he found contentment in living a simple life in the country’

  • Happiness comes from contentment within and no amount of money will change that.’

  • And they increasingly look to their work as their main source of satisfaction and contentment.’

  • Being in tune with nature is the easiest and only way of ensuring a life of contentment and happiness.’

  • Is it hard to find calm, satisfaction, contentment, happiness inside oneself?’

  • Her faith was a central part of her long life and through it she found much peace, strength and contentment.’

 

I'm surprised you have to ask TBH.

 

'The sermon on the mount' is the most obvious example I can think of, perhaps you can think of a different interpretation.

 

Please tell us how teaching people to worship a mythological being promotes contentment?

 

 

You seem to struggle with comprehension, I said:

 

the only claim I've made, in this thread and others, is that the major religions were trying to teach contentment and that God/s, or your incredulity, aren't needed for that to be true.

 

 

Tell us how teaching that killing someone who is homosexual promotes contentment?

Abrahamic religions teach all sorts of things that are abominations that people have to be killed for:

Working on sundays

Wearing clothing made of two different types of thread

Not putting the proper fringes on your robes

Having sex outside of marriage

But! They allow slavery, genocide, killing at gods demand, human sacrifice, killing anyone who tries to get you to worship another mythological monster, cutting off the foreskins of hundreds of men as an offering to god, 613 laws that no one can frollow all of yet breaking them means hellfire.

 

Let's add cherry picking, to your previous disingenuous argument, the bait and switch, of which the following is another example.

Not true, secular charities do not threaten you with hell fire to coerce money from you. Secular charities do not teach children they are dirty sinners deserving of hell. Secular charities have to keep track of the money, report how much is taken and and what it is used for. Secular charities do not use the lions share of money to proselytize or build grand buildings to honor a mythological being that lives in the sky, they do not pay popular pastors with multiple multi million dollar mansions, private jets, secular charities are not a route to fame and fortune.

Far from mainstream religion rejecting fundamentalists, fundamentalism drives the mainstream churches. Secular charities do not refuse to help people who do not accept their belief systems, they do not try to change laws to follow some ancient dogma that denies rights to anyone who they do not agree with based on the dogma of ancient books that are totally wrong about everything testable they claim about the natural world.

 

I said societies; is this another disingenuous argument, or another example of your poor comprehension?

I'm sure you'd be the first to complain if I compared a peaceful Buddhist monastery to Stalin's post war Russia.

All the atrocities you claim for religions were perpetrated in that secular society.

Every bad thing you associate with religion is present in a secular society and the ONLY difference between the two is that secularism doesn't try to teach one to be content.

 

 

Perhaps you'd like another go, at explaining how this statement is false.

Edited by dimreepr

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The dying don't get surveyed very much, the dead even less so.

 

 

 

Even if not fired i would have thought this sufficient to bring your employer to a tribunal under harassment or discrimination at work?

 

Either way, i fear removing religion would not solve the situation. Human in-group behaviour is obviously strong in these communities and would just manifest in some other way.

 

I guess the pertinent question is to what degree is religiosity causative or just correlated with in-group behaviour. MonDie's interesting post might help explore that a little.

 

 

 

Then by definition they are not moderate.

 

But there are plenty of religious people who do condemn extremists. Whenever i try to point out there are benign religious people everyone points out that there are malignant religious people. I accept this, which gives credence to my claim that religious people and religions themselves are not homogenous. And yet, 219 posts later, we are still treating them as if they are. Even a split like Abrahamic and others would be a start.

 

 

I appreciate the effort, this is the sort of thing i was looking for, though, as you say, it's qualitative. To do the subject justice someone would have to spend some time collecting and analysing a dataset, checking for confounding variables etc... I'm surprised there isn't more on it.

 

But the meta-analysis is far more rigorous than your quick attempt - why are you so quick to dismiss it?

 

The 60 studies it includes all appear to be from the US. I can send the full-text to you if you wish.

 

 

 

Sorry, but when you said any i thought you meant any.

 

 

Less? Maybe, depends if we count the Nazi's trying to eradicate Jews. I'm not sure how secular the Nazi's could be considered: my understanding is that religion wasn't important to motivating their ideals. Then there was the great purge.

 

I don't doubt things are as bad as you say they are in your corner of the world. But in the far east religious freedoms are curtailed by secular states.

 

 

Edit: for grammar/clarity.

 

" The dying don't get surveyed very much, the dead even less so."

 

Yes, I would assume that. I am talking about a demand from the living though.

 

"Even if not fired i would have thought this sufficient to bring your employer to a tribunal under harassment or discrimination at work? "

 

Not if you aren't actually being discriminated against in any verifiable or provable way. It is impossible to prove discrimination by just pointing to the boss and saying that they have a bad attitude towards you because you are an atheist. Also, I was a part-time employee and could have been fired for literally no reason anyways. While there are anti-discrimination laws, I didn't have any sort of job security that prevents me from being fired for another reason. All the boss would have to say is "we don't need you right now because of our sales, so we are letting you go." There would have been no course of repercussion for me.

 

"Either way, i fear removing religion would not solve the situation. Human in-group behaviour is obviously strong in these communities and would just manifest in some other way."

 

I didn't say it would solve all of our problems related to group-think, I am saying that religion is currently a large source of it though. Meaning that almost by default the world would be a better place without religion. That doesn't mean I think it would be a conflict- and prejudice-free world.

 

"I guess the pertinent question is to what degree is religiosity causative or just correlated with in-group behaviour. MonDie's interesting post might help explore that a little."

 

It establishes groups with inherent differences. Meaning that it isn't merely correlated with group think because it is an establishment that creates groups and beliefs that are group specific.

 

"Then by definition they are not moderate."

 

No, they are still moderate in the sense that they don't condone or accept the extreme actions, but they see any perceived attack on their theological and religious beliefs as a threat. So if you criticize the religious beliefs of the extremists that helped lead to the problematic behavior, many moderates can't distinguish that criticism of the religion from a personal attack on their own religious views. Resulting in them defending the theology/religion of the extremists even though they don't defend the actions.

 

"But there are plenty of religious people who do condemn extremists. Whenever i try to point out there are benign religious people everyone points out that there are malignant religious people. I accept this, which gives credence to my claim that religious people and religions themselves are not homogenous. And yet, 219 posts later, we are still treating them as if they are. Even a split like Abrahamic and others would be a start."

 

No, I am pointing to the "benign" ones too, but what I am saying is that while some of the benign theists don't condone the actions, they condone and defend the religion of the extremists.

 

"But the meta-analysis is far more rigorous than your quick attempt - why are you so quick to dismiss it?"

 

I'm not dismissing it, but it wasn't possible to give it any lengthy treatment. Send it in a private message if you can.

 

"Less? Maybe, depends if we count the Nazi's trying to eradicate Jews. I'm not sure how secular the Nazi's could be considered: my understanding is that religion wasn't important to motivating their ideals. Then there was the great purge.

I don't doubt things are as bad as you say they are in your corner of the world. But in the far east religious freedoms are curtailed by secular states."

Yes, for clarity's sake what I mean is that I do not encounter with any regularity atheists or agnostics advocating for eradicating religion from the face of the Earth. Even more important to this point to me is that while there is a minority of the non-religious out there advocating for this, they don't have the power, money, or influence that the religious do.

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Consistent with posts on the previous page, I've also seen some of the research correlating religiosity with lower crime. My recollection is that this is mostly petty crimes like juvenile delinquency and mild drug abuse, not serious crimes like murder or rape. Anyway, I'm starting to see evidence for an inverse correlation, at the level of the individual, between religiosity and less antisocial personality, but it might not be as bad as it sounds.

First, the evidence.

 

#1: Correlates of psychopathic personality traits in everyday life: results from a large community survey

#2: Psychopathic Personality Traits and Environmental Contexts: Differential Correlates, Gender Differences, and Genetic Mediation

 

#3: Five-Factor Model Personality Traits, Spritiaulity/Religiousness, and Mental Health Among People Living with HIV

#4: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationships Between the Five-Factor Model and DSM-IV-TR Personality Disorders: A Facet Level Analysis

 

As we can see from Table 3 in source #1, the non-religious score higher on the psychopathic personality inventory (PPI-R), but its relationship with the Fearless Dominance (FD) facet does not reach statistical significance. As it turns out, there are two types of psychopaths, the primary and the secondary. The primary psychopath is distinguished by the fearless dominance traits that the secondary does not possess. The secondary psychopath still experiences fear, anxiety, and guilt, but he still takes risks and behaves recklessly. It was long speculated that primary psychopathy was endogenous, or even genetic, because they didn't have the same unfavorable environment that secondary psychopaths did. As source #2 elaborates on, our twin studies have shown equal genetic and environmental loadings for both disorders, but these environmental causes for primary psychopathy remain elusive, whereas many detrimental social environmental risk-factors for secondary psychopathy have been identified. Who knows, maybe primary psychopathy is caused by nutrition or chemicals. Anyway, moving on.

As we can see from Table 2 in source #4, consistent with source #1, the same Big Five factors are aberrant in both antisocial personality and being non-religious. However, most research, including my #3, shows that the relationship with conscientiousness is stronger, probably about twice as strong. This means that non-religious people are mainly less conscientious. Perhaps they tend to be more indulgent, not willing to abide by the abstinent prescriptions of religions. Narcissism on the other hand loads almost completely on Agreeableness, so the non-religious might be more narcissistic. However Table 2 in source #3 gives a breakdown of how religiosity loads on each Agreeableness facet, and we can see that the strongest emphasis is on facet A4 Compliance (and A6 Tender-Mindedness if you include these iffy "sense of peace" and "compassion" dimensions). Spirituality/religiousness didn't load significantly on A2 Straightforwardness or A5 Modesty, and it was actually negatively related to modesty. My personal suspicion is that the portrait of the narcissistic atheist worshiping himself has actually came from autistic atheists who lacked social graces (autistic personalities are mainly high Neurotic and low Extraversion).

 

Ironically, this may actually be evidence that religion doesn't reduce crime, for it helps to explain the inverse association of religiosity with criminal behavior with a theoretical framework wherein religion probably isn't influencing personality but rather the reverse. From #3:

 

According to Five-Factor Theory (McCrae & Costa, 2003; 2008), personality traits can be understood as basic tendencies that are rooted in biology. As basic traits are channeled through the forces of the surrounding environment, characteristic adaptations, such as attitudes, goals, beliefs, and self-schemas, emerge. Characteristic adaptations, in turn, are thought to interact with external influences and situational factors resulting in an individual’s objective biography which encompasses both overt behavior and emotional reactions. Note that according to Five-Factor Theory, the effects of traits on behaviors and emotional reactions are always mediated by characteristic adaptations.

 

[...]

 

This view, which attributes primacy to underlying personality traits, is supported by recent findings suggesting that personality traits in adolescence predict religiousness and spirituality in late adulthood whereas empirical evidence for the converse pattern (i.e., religiousness and spirituality predicting future personality) is scarce (Wink, Ciciolla, Dillon, & Tracy, 2007).

 

 

Furthermore, to the extent that environment does influence personality, the message may be mixed. Source #2 includes potential influences as getting in with the wrong crowd and problems with the law. I suppose that wrong crowd might be a non-religious crowd, but problems with the law could actually reflect a pro-religious bias in our law enforcement and court systems. My speculation is that perhaps religion is actually a double-edged sword, promoting good behavior among religious youth while at the same time promoting bad behavior among non-religious youth by reinforcing the prejudice against them.

Edited by MonDie

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I got bored while procrastinating and decided to add some data together into a multivariate analysis related to our discussions.

 

post-124638-0-37622600-1481230614_thumb.jpg

 

I haven't delved too deep into any interpretation of this, but all of the data I pulled I got off of wikipedia and I deleted any countries I didn't have complete data for (not ideal but I did this PCA quickly). That resulted in some countries that I'd like to have seen on here become omitted (Cuba, Syria, North Korea, to name a few). Note: The PCA uses a correlation matrix since the data is all of different types.

If a piece of data is a rank, remember that this means that the higher the number the worse it is (so a high GDP ranking means it has a worse GDP ranking than a country with a rank closer to 1). But for the rates, the lower the number the worse it is (suicide and violent crime rates). And the response to the religion question is a percentage (I omitted the opposite response to that question so as to reduce the "double dipping" of the data).

In general, the countries you probably wouldn't want to live in plot to the left and down. These countries have poor GDP rankings and high suicide rates. These are also the countries that tend to favor religion.

The opposite direction is occupied by countries with less religiousness and better GDP rankings (some have elevated suicide rates, like China/Hong Kong and the UK relative to some of the other countries).

I can't go through country by country at the moment and I may go back through this and add in more data (and remove the different suicide categories since they load in the same direction and to the same degree) and add back in countries with incomplete data (I should be able to do the PCA with incomplete if I can figure out how to code for it in R).

 

So this doesn't really resolve anything but I think it is consistent with my overall position. Religion being important to people isn't a reflection of a high quality life, the reciprocal appears to be more true. But how one determines causality is not clear. Maybe more religious people create worse countries to live in? Or perhaps countries that are worse to live in create more religious people?

Edited by TheBeardedDude

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Yes, I would assume that. I am talking about a demand from the living though.

 

From the Journal of Palliative Medicine: there's an interesting little lit. review under the section Spirituality and patient perspectives.

 

 

I didn't say it would solve all of our problems related to group-think, I am saying that religion is currently a large source of it though. Meaning that almost by default the world would be a better place without religion. That doesn't mean I think it would be a conflict- and prejudice-free world.

.

.

.

It establishes groups with inherent differences. Meaning that it isn't merely correlated with group think because it is an establishment that creates groups and beliefs that are group specific.

 

 

Well that's the hypothesis. Let's look into the data.

 

 

No, they are still moderate in the sense that they don't condone or accept the extreme actions, but they see any perceived attack on their theological and religious beliefs as a threat. So if you criticize the religious beliefs of the extremists that helped lead to the problematic behavior, many moderates can't distinguish that criticism of the religion from a personal attack on their own religious views. Resulting in them defending the theology/religion of the extremists even though they don't defend the actions.

 

Same goes for Nationalistic ideologies: it's a problem with humanity, not religions.

 

No, I am pointing to the "benign" ones too, but what I am saying is that while some of the benign theists don't condone the actions, they condone and defend the religion of the extremists.

 

And how many of these benign theists (are we now neglecting agnostic/atheistic religions?) do this? We've established that some do and some don't, but can we quantify how many and relate it to other variables? Which is why i value MonDie's contibution - it's an attempt to tease out the salient features of religiosity. I also value your contribution: it's so pleasant to talk data on a religion thread for once.

 

 

I'm not dismissing it, but it wasn't possible to give it any lengthy treatment. Send it in a private message if you can.

 

Will do. I'll exchange it for your dataset?

 

 

Yes, for clarity's sake what I mean is that I do not encounter with any regularity atheists or agnostics advocating for eradicating religion from the face of the Earth.

 

Maybe not in your life, but i'm sure there's monks in Tibet at this moment saying the converse.

 

 

First, the evidence...

 

Well i asked for it: gonna take me a while to pick through all this.

 

 

I got bored while procrastinating and decided to add some data together into a multivariate analysis related to our discussions.

 

Cool beans. But why PCA? My first thought was regression with and then without religiosity as a predictor. So we don't get tempted into p-hacking maybe we should decide on some variables before more analysis? I like violent crime and suicide rates; what's your thinking on population rank? Be nice to include something on human rights and female subjugation. This could be fun.

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