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Religion fosters bad behavior

POSTED BY: SEVENPERCENT
UPDATED: Monday, June 24, 2024 16:19
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Saturday, August 19, 2006 2:59 AM

SEVENPERCENT


I found this article while poking around the web this morning. We've had several religious discussion threads, so being the good person that I am, I thought I'd throw this nugget out there for consumption. It's an interesting take on some of the issues we've been talking about (such as, which is worse, religion or atheism?)

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/index.html?id=219&article=7

From the article:
Quote:

Faith tends to weaken rather than strengthen people’s ability to participate in society. That makes it less likely they will respect social customs and laws.

All believers learn that God holds them responsible for their actions. So far so good, but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves.

The more people prioritize themselves rather than those around them, the weaker society becomes and the greater the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Hence gun laws which encourage Americans to see each other not as fellow human beings who deserve protection, but as potential aggressors who deserve to die.



Let's try and focus on the guy's premise and argument, please, and not turn this into a Theistic Throwdown of "whose God is better."

------------------------------------------
"A revolution without dancing is no revolution at all." - V

Anyone wanting to continue a discussion off board is welcome to email me - check bio for details.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 3:36 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Actually, although I have run into some zealotry and thus religion-inspired bad behavior, on the average, I would have to disagree in that I have seen far, far more evidence of decent behavior inspired by religion as a whole.

And not any one religion either, in fact it was a Bahai who brought me the notion of tolerance of ALL beliefs regardless of form, and the idea that wisdom can be gleaned even from beliefs opposed to your own.

Most of the devout people I have met have generally conducted themselves as "better people", and a great many of those were either Baptist or Catholic, with a hefty sprinkling of Diests, Pagans and Muslims in there...

Other than a few rabid fanatics, the only incidence of religion-fostered BAD behavior that I have seen has been when the religion itself was based on such behavior to begin with... I certainly would not want to get into an intense disagreement with a drunken Astaru, for example.

Overall, I hafta disagree with his premise, sorry.

-Frem

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 3:46 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SevenPercent:
Let's try and focus on the guy's premise and argument, please...



I think the word I'm looking for is "Bogus".

His argument boils down to "More religion = more crime and un-wed mothers." using Japan and the US as opposite ends of the range. This might be valid if religious belief was the only difference between Japan and the US. I can, however, think of a few others, like homogeneity vs. heterogenety of the population, traditional respect for authority vs. belief in individual freedoms, and on and on.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 3:53 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

"but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves."


Well, I mean this obviously describes Bush and all, but I can't see this as being the case in a broader sense.
A valid premise, but only in respect to those in power, I think.

My call Chrisisall

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 3:53 AM

SEVENPERCENT


And that would be fine, Geezer, if the only comparison being made were with Japan. But how do you explain the comparable numbers evidenced in the non-religious Euro countries, which are more similar to the US in homogen(aity? eity? is that even a word? Homogenousness? Whatever, you get what I mean) and culture?

------------------------------------------
"A revolution without dancing is no revolution at all." - V

Anyone wanting to continue a discussion off board is welcome to email me - check bio for details.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:06 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

"but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves."


Well, I mean this obviously describes Bush and all, but I can't see this as being the case in a broader sense.
A valid premise, but only in respect to those in power, I think.

My call Chrisisall



Shut up

Chris eatsshitisall

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:19 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SevenPercent:
And that would be fine, Geezer, if the only comparison being made were with Japan. But how do you explain the comparable numbers evidenced in the non-religious Euro countries, which are more similar to the US in homogen(aity? eity? is that even a word? Homogenousness? Whatever, you get what I mean) and culture?



O.K. We have a range of religious belief from Japan to the US, with Norway, Holland, Germany, and England in the middle. These countries also have a more mixed population than Japan, but less than the US. Maybe that's why they're in the middle, not religion. Hey, people in Japan are, on the average, short. Europeans somewhere in the middle, and Americans taller. Could taller people be more prone to murder and un-wed motherhood?

Another problem I have with the study is that it doesn't provide any evidence that the increased murders and un-wed pregnancies are committed by the religious segment of the population.

I'm thinking that this is pseudo-science put together to support an established position...say that of Humanism?

BTW, I'm about as agnostic as it gets, so I'm not arguing this on religious grounds at all, just giving my opinion on what I consider bad science.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:25 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Most of the religious people that I know tend to be very disciplined, responsible and very nice and very well rounded people. In general they aren’t murders. And the vast majority of murders in the US are not religiously motivated; they are crime (drugs, burglary etc) motivated.

The crime rate in the US is higher then in Western Europe and Japan, in part because the US has, in general, more lenient laws compared to these countries. The US high crime rate is more likely a product of enforced laws then religious beliefs in these countries. Many aspects of the Patriot Act have been in place a very long time in Britain and France, particularly France, whose anti-terror raids would make most Americans cringe, and few Americans know the extent of the MI5 in Britain. Go to Britain or France and apply for a driver’s license, and you’ll see immediate the extreme difference between the laws in Western Europe and the US, just where they apply to everyday, much less actual criminals.

The US, in general, is fundamentally libertarian. We like our lenient laws, but lenient laws operate to provide a freedom for criminals as much as they do for the rest of us, and that is the shortcoming of American Libertarianism. It is the reason for the US high crime rate, and it has nothing to do with religion.

I don’t think the author’s argument makes sense, really. He is focusing on something that probably has little direct influence on crime rate and ignoring the factors (enforced law, ethnic diversity) that probably is directly related.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:28 AM

EVILDINOSAUR


I completely agree, another issue we see with people of strong faith is that many of them will expect others to follow it as well, or in the case of extremists, kill those who don't follow it. Belief is a very dangerous thing, maybe the most dangerous weapon in the history of humanity.

"Haha, mine is an evil laugh."

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 6:37 AM

SEVENPERCENT


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
I'm thinking that this is pseudo-science put together to support an established position...say that of Humanism?

BTW, I'm about as agnostic as it gets, so I'm not arguing this on religious grounds at all, just giving my opinion on what I consider bad science.




Opinion is what I'm looking for. I'm not commenting one way or another really, just saw the article - which is more editorializing than science - and thought it was interesting in the context of the discussions we've been having lately.

You have to admit, in America, we have a very severe disconnect between the fundamentalist religious and the non-fundie. I find it fascinating, frankly.

------------------------------------------
"A revolution without dancing is no revolution at all." - V

Anyone wanting to continue a discussion off board is welcome to email me - check bio for details.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 2:53 PM

ANTIMASON


i disagree with the article, almost completely.

since faith and belief ultimately come down to the individual, and how they put them into practice, i dont see how you can paint those with a faith with such a broad stroak like that. ive tried to make this point before, but simply claiming to be something is not sufficient..actions speak louder than words; and if the religions teach peace, love and understanding, than anyone breaking those rules does not deserve to represent the belief system; like i said, if Hitler claimed to be Buddhist, would anyone take him seriously? than why do Christians and Muslims and everyone else get such a bad rap? do i need to point out examples in society of lawlessness without religion?

i think Jesus says it best when he says "let he who is without sin throw the first stone", and "do not judge, or you will be judged. why do you point out the speck in your brothers eye, yet fail to recognize the plank in your own?" who here is perfect(rhetorical question)? then why are people so quick to accuse others?

no one person can change the world, but a single person can change themselves, and hope to affect a postive change around them..thats all the religions can do, is offer a hopefull and beneficial message, and pray that it takes root and comes to fruition; thats all were trying to do..would it be better if we believed in nothing? our goal is peace and tolerance, i can think of a lot more worse things out their that people focus and dedicate their lives to

im just getting tired of hearing how bad a belief in God is; maybe i should worship baseball or the republican party.. cause we all know those baises dont cause divisions

i wont speak for anyone else, but i know myself...and im a better person all around then i used to be, and i give all my credit to God, because i feel ive changed from the inside. im sure that sounds cliche to some of you, buts its the absolute truth. i am always genuine and sincere with people, to share, to be open and loving...and i do these things from my heart, i dont feel pressured into it or do it out of fear or punishment..i really want the best for people

and i think its a load that relious people disassociate themselves or seperate from society and non-believers. because love, as the religions teach, is neccessary to build bridges and reconcile differences, that would be against our teachings! i would say science and technology has gone just as far to create isolation and seperation from contact as religions have. to tell you the truth, my best friend is as athiest as they could possible come; we are on exact opposite extremems of the spectrum..and yet, we could debate all day, and afterwards hes as good of a friend as always. shouldnt i hate him, or seperate myself from him? no..because i have love for my brothers, and i want the best for him..its that simple

i resent when people tell me ive accept God with blind faith; because ive looked into my belief as much as anyone, and yet my faith grows by leaps and bounds daily. does that mean all christians do the same?..no, but the avg person on the street has his ignorances too, regardless of whether they have a faith; so why are believers singled out constantly?






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Saturday, August 19, 2006 3:23 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Kaneman

Shut up

Kanemaneatsshitisall

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:14 PM

DREAMTROVE


Quote:

Geezer:
I think the word I'm looking for is "Bogus".



Bravo. I was looking for a way to put this, and that's just spot on.

First of all, the statement "Japan is an atheist society" is an absurd one. Japan is heavily religious, athetheism is between an extreme minority and unheard of. Most Japanese ascribe to at least one religion: Shintoism, and a majority of those ascribe to a second: Bhudism. In addition, there are a decent number of christians as well as other western and eastern religions.

What makes matters worse is that religion seems to be defined as "follers of God,ie. Yhwh," a complete failure to recognize the existance of other religions.

Even if this were an argument against Yhwh, with which I would agree, is a bad influence, I can't hold the position that everything in his religions foster bad behavior. A lot of that moral code is good, even in Islam. The Muslims are better off as muslims than they would be as atheists. Take a look at the VD rates in muslim nations, the prostitution, crime, it's pretty low. Most people behave according to the rules of society. The fact that those rules are very different from our own is not the relevant point. And no, they don't all do it by the sword.

Christianity, for all its flaws, is even better. Atheist america is busy destroying its brains with alcohol and drugs, AIDS and hepB are spreading like wildfire, crime is out of control, esp. when you compare these states to serious christian societies like the Mennonites

The fallacy in the argument is that it has confused cause and effect. Religion is strongest where omnipresent moral decay has taken the greatest hold. But specifically looking at the communities, it is not the relgious communities representing the decadent decay, it's the secular atheist communities.

Also, teen pregnancy is not a measure of moral decay. In a healthy society, people have kids. Check out some of these intellectual atheist elites, people having no children at all, that's not a healthy society.

Violent crime comes in largest part from american cities, not from the rural communities in which religion thrives.

Sorry I couldn't be terse.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 6:00 PM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Quote:

But specifically looking at the communities, it is not the relgious communities representing the decadent decay, it's the secular atheist communities.


I'm offended. But, more than that, I'm curious - do you think you could give me some examples, dreamtrove?

---

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:02 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


The linked article speculates on a topic for which there is already a fair bit of data. Just looking within the USA (to reduce some of the variables in international comparisons) many polls of behavior and opinion show that people who are highly religious behave LESS well or about the same as atheists/ agnostics. They tend to lie more, abuse more, and be less charitable and open-minded. For example, this article from the National Catholic Reporter decries the Catholic support the use of torture:
Quote:

Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?

NEVER
Catholics 26%
White Protestant 31%
White evangelical 31%
Secular 41%
Total 32%

Notice that seculars are LESS likely to approve torture than religious. And it's not as if the Catholic Church approves of torture. The article reiterates:
Quote:

As followers of Jesus, we must state clearly and unequivocally that torture violates the basic human dignity afforded all of God’s children, and is never morally acceptable. On this two-year anniversary of the revelations of the cruel, inhumane and humiliating treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison -- the first of numerous revelations regarding institutionalized torture practices in the U.S. war on terrorism -- we reiterate our church’s profound respect for the dignity of all persons and reject as antithetical to Christianity any and all justifications for the use of torture.

www.ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2006a/032406/032406h.htm

Conservative Xtians divorce more frequently:
Quote:

Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is within 2 percentage points. The survey found:

11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significently higher than for other faith groups, and for Atheists and Agnostics.


www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

Quote:

When it comes to lying on job resumes, cheating on exams or plagiarizing reports, folks who consider themselves devout churchgoers often leave their ethics at the chapel door when they return to their homes and jobs. In fact, according to a soon-to-be-released report, the ethical behavior of people who say religion is "essential" to their lives is often not distinguishable from the behavior of those who describe religion as "unimportant."

www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-morality.html

And there are too many papers and reports dealing with religiously-motivated child abuse (including beatings and medical neglect) here is one paper that cites others

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:zVVoZwVE53AJ:www.nospank.net/bottom
s.pdf+atheists+family+religion+child+abuse+study&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=10




---------------------------------
Reality sucks. Especially when it contradicts our cherished ideas.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 8:39 PM

REAVERMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
In general they aren’t murders.



The article doesn't say that it turns people into murderers. It says that faith fosters a disrespect toward other belief systems which could lead to problems and further division in society.

I disagree with the author in that he(she?) seems to say that ALL faith ALWAYS leads to this kind of arrogance, which just isn't true.

You're welcome on my boat. God ain't.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 9:49 PM

ANTIMASON


im sorry but those poll numbers are kind of rediculous, considering the variables involved; im not willing to blame someones "claim" of a belief as the prime motive for divorce. and in the Bible, God says that the purpose of marriage was to unite as one in the flesh "till death"; so why would this be the cause of divorce? unless your argument is that marriage is some type of oppressive societal custom..that i would be curious to hear

my mom was a single partent, and i know how tough it is/was for her. in an ideal situation, a child would have both parents, and would recieve their devotion constantly; when there is a divorce, the children always suffer, because the parents priorities change, ultimately the kids lose the full exposure of their parents influence. God did not want that, yet that is how it is; no one is perfect..a sinful nature was the consequence of the garden of Eden. Gods word is for our own benefit, just as a person gains wisdom with age, learning lessons of the past, God knows human nature better then we do.

and im not one to personally defend the Catholic church a great deal, but for starters Jesus, who is God manifest, never remotely approved or suggested torture, let alone condone it. unless we're admitting that its human nature to rebel against authority(which would be convenient, since thats what God says), how does the Bible create or affect these adversities?

think about the physcology: why would people do the opposite of what their told? kids do it all the time..its human nature apparently. if God really doesnt exist, its all just a made up story...what is so harmfull about the universal truths to these messages?

or, if the Bible was just this cleverly invented tool to condition the masses, then its the most elaborate failure ever, because it preaches the opposite of what the rulers want. why not say "this is what God says: possessions are valuable, the world and its desires are good, give in to the flesh, be permiscuous, obey authority blindly and worship your rulers, for they are better than you"? can you go the other direction and tell people to murder and kill and steal, hoping them to do the opposite?

just because they said "money is desireable", doesnt make it true. i wont argue money is nice, but money alone cannot make you happy. you could commit all our taboo sins, would that really make anyone feel better? but the bible says the opposite, which is that "money is the root of many evil; that "you cannot serve both God and money" and that greed is idolatry. in every case, it is whats best for us

Gods word is the antithesis of what the world is currently; which is why Jesus' will return and redeem mankind from this fallen corrupt nature. the reason believers are subject to the tribulation, is so that God can test the hearts of every one on earth, and will give to everyone what they deserve; it is to purify and refine Gods faithful, so that they can prepare mentally against the antichrist; since the "whole world" will be decieved, including Christians who cant tell the antichrist from the Jesus of scripture.

i think that is the real issue here. christ means "messiah" so christian mean "messiah-ian". in the occult, to groups like the illuminati and and freemasonry, Lucifer is their messiah. i would sumbit to you that many christians today are actually antichristians; not athiests, but worshipping a false christ; which is idolatry, and which is what will happen when the antiChrist appears. many christians today are actually antichristians and may not know it


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Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:09 AM

DREAMTROVE


Yinyang

You're offended? You have a faith-based screen-name.

Example, check out any downtown bar scene is a secular college town. Sin city AIDS fest. Bring your cocaine, mary jane, alcohol and the VD hookers and let's get this party started.

Or a local teen scene, take your wiggas out for a cruise and go break stuff, get drunk commit some crimes, get into a mix up with the local crips, and maybe the skins can come and we can really have a night to remember.

Where do the examples end? This isn't what's going on at the local mennonite community.


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Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:10 AM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by antimason:
i would sumbit to you that many christians today are actually antichristians; not athiests, but worshipping a false christ; which is idolatry, and which is what will happen when the antiChrist appears. many christians today are actually antichristians and may not know it

So, Signy's studies fall right in line with Bible prophecy, wouldn't you say, antimason? Signy's studies simply take your "many christians" and suggest that "a defining majority of christians" are unable to live by Christian principles. What else would you expect during the tribulation?

People love to blame. It's one of the central troubles of our species, IMHO. A while back, someone, I think it was on this board even, made a very pretty argument that the reason Adam and Eve were cast out from Eden, was not for disobeying God--afterall, that would have been pretty unfair, as God had planted that seed in our natures. No, God kicked them out of paradise because neither of them could take responsability for their actions.

"Adam, what happened here?"

"Eve made me eat some apple or something."

"Eve, what was up with that?"

"Um, uh, well--It was the snake!"

And here we are 2000+ years later, still blaming others for our own misdeeds and confusion. Ass-coverage is the primary skill taught in schools and rewarded in adult life. What is it in human beings that keeps us from simply owning up? Every major crisis in the world today can be traced back to humans blaming some ourside force, often other humans, for their troubles.

Geez, human race, get some therapy, will ya?

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:15 AM

DREAMTROVE


signym

I have some issues with the xtian right, but this is just leftwing propoganda. Anyone can just roll into the deep south and experience it for themselves. It's simply not the case. The only catholic communities with a high crime rate are inner city latin neighborhoods where drug rings are the guiding force. It's not the church which is giving them guns and telling them to shoot each other. I think objectively, the angle of this thread is just about 100% wrong. It's just a completely absurd claim. I don't even know where to start, it's like "ach!"

It's about as logical and fact-based as "I drive better when I'm drunk."

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:33 AM

CITIZEN


As is your claim, Dream.

Religious people are better people is ridiculous. Atheist commit more crimes!

You could earn a lot as the PR guy for the vatican.

"Join a religion now because Atheists have no morals!" please.

Before labeling something as propeganda you should really provide some proof to the contary.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:47 AM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Dreamtrove, I consider yin and yang to be Chinese philosophical concepts (although, I'll admit, it is a part of some religions). I'm an existential atheist; but, does that mean I can't assimilate religious concepts without being associated with said religion? So, does that make me a Christian Taoist, because I also believe people should "love your neighbor as yourself"? Does it take so little these days to be considered religious, as if everyone must be religious, no exceptions?

---

Go to http://richlabonte.net/tvvote/ and vote Firefly!

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 6:34 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

I have some issues with the xtian right, but this is just leftwing propoganda. Anyone can just roll into the deep south and experience it for themselves. It's simply not the case. The only catholic communities with a high crime rate are inner city latin neighborhoods where drug rings are the guiding force. It's not the church which is giving them guns and telling them to shoot each other. I think objectively, the angle of this thread is just about 100% wrong. It's just a completely absurd claim.
Dreamtrove- You're normally a smart person, but the studies have nothing to do with neighborhoods. You're ignoring the methods of the studies. They link people who CLAIM TO BE DEEPLY RELIGIOUS directly with their opinions and/or behavior. The two are tied together. The link YOU'RE talking about is a geographic association- not the same thing at all.

Also, This is not "left-wing" propaganda. If you look at the sources of two of the studies, they are the Barna Goup (which performs studies for religious organizations) and the Pew Group and discussed (not dismissed) by the National Catholic reporter.
Quote:

I don't even know where to start, it's like "ach!"
Well, at least we agree on something!

---------------------------------
Reality sucks. Especially when it contradicts our cherished ideas.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 7:23 AM

ANTIMASON


HK- i have no disagreements with you, i think this is the importance of acknowledging when you fail and sin; to ask for forgiveness, repent, and try to learn from your behavior. if we cant acknowledge our imperfections, or hypocracies whatever..then we wont always realize what we're doing wrong and try to correct ourselves. i am not perfect, by any means..i am constantly humbled by my imperfections

what i think is dangerous, for christians, is to mistake the Jesus of scripture for someone of our own creation. Jesus' if he were president, would not approve of 90+% of the worlds actions, including a huge percentage of christians(myself included sometimes). because during the tribulation, the antiChrist will decieve many, who cannot distinguish Jesus' characterisitics from his counterpart, we run the risk of supporting the wrong messiah when the time comes

i do not mean to point fingers, but i am adament that the Bush christians are setting themselves up to be decieved by the god of Freemasonry/Illuminati/skull&bones, ie Lucifer, who will manifest in the coming antiChrist. i do not judge them, but i ask that they consider the relevency of what is known about the occult in America, and the prophecies re: the end of the age. i am basing these claims off Jesus' warnings that many will come in his name claiming "i am the messiah", and will exhibit false wonders and signs, which will deceive those who cant identify the Jesus of scripture..including the "elect" if it were possible. these people, who support the beast, will then murder and persecute any and all dissenters against the antiChrists kindgom.

the fewer people i have trying to turn me over to authorities the better. it also says that many who are not believers will join our cause, but if they lack a firm foundation, they may lose the will to resist persecution, and hold on until Jesus' return. that is the main reason i bring my view of scriptures to you all, i do not wish harm on anyone here...so if things do begin to happen as i believe, you will know the diception which is at work, and can save yourselves from the trials which will be upon you. it will be better to be persecuted, and to flee from authority, then to take the mark and live under the system of the Beast, that is for sure


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Sunday, August 20, 2006 7:37 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
So, Signy's studies fall right in line with Bible prophecy, wouldn't you say, antimason? Signy's studies simply take your "many christians" and suggest that "a defining majority of christians" are unable to live by Christian principles.



Another variable that might be worth considering is whether people who call themselves "Christian" really understand what that means. I once had a girl tell me, "I'm Unitarian--it's a Christian religion" (which is clearly not the case). As well, when asked, "Why do you say you're a Christian?" many people respond, "Because my parents are" or "Because I go to church". With all due respect to those who claim to be Christians, in my experience, most just aren't. One of the key ways (as precribed in Christian sacred texts) to know whether or not someone truly believes is that individual's behavior. Genuine Christian faith is meant to provide a complete life-change, not mere fire insurance. I guess I can't speak to other faiths (as I imagine it's fairly obvious into with category I fall), but as for Christianity, I must respectfully submit that those whose behavior is indistinguishable from the pre-conversion life are likely not Christians, in the biblical sense.

________________________________________________________________________
I wish I had a magical wish-granting plank.


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Sunday, August 20, 2006 7:45 AM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Quote:

HK- i have no disagreements with you, i think this is the importance of acknowledging when you fail and sin; to ask for forgiveness, repent, and try to learn from your behavior. if we cant acknowledge our imperfections, or hypocracies whatever..then we wont always realize what we're doing wrong and try to correct ourselves. i am not perfect, by any means..i am constantly humbled by my imperfections

what i think is dangerous, for christians, is to mistake the Jesus of scripture for someone of our own creation. Jesus' if he were president, would not approve of 90+% of the worlds actions, including a huge percentage of christians(myself included sometimes). because during the tribulation, the antiChrist will decieve many, who cannot distinguish Jesus' characterisitics from his counterpart, we run the risk of supporting the wrong messiah when the time comes

i do not mean to point fingers, but i am adament that the Bush christians are setting themselves up to be decieved by the god of Freemasonry/Illuminati/skull&bones, ie Lucifer, who will manifest in the coming antiChrist. i do not judge them, but i ask that they consider the relevency of what is known about the occult in America, and the prophecies re: the end of the age. i am basing these claims off Jesus' warnings that many will come in his name claiming "i am the messiah", and will exhibit false wonders and signs, which will deceive those who cant identify the Jesus of scripture..including the "elect" if it were possible. these people, who support the beast, will then murder and persecute any and all dissenters against the antiChrists kindgom.

the fewer people i have trying to turn me over to authorities the better. it also says that many who are not believers will join our cause, but if they lack a firm foundation, they may lose the will to resist persecution, and hold on until Jesus' return. that is the main reason i bring my view of scriptures to you all, i do not wish harm on anyone here...so if things do begin to happen as i believe, you will know the diception which is at work, and can save yourselves from the trials which will be upon you. it will be better to be persecuted, and to flee from authority, then to take the mark and live under the system of the Beast, that is for sure



I'm not trying to be rude, but, antimason - is it possible for you to post something without talking about the anti-Christ and the second coming? Because, although I read this thread of my own free will, and choose to read your posts as well, I feel like you're slamming a Bible down my throat everytime you post. I respect that you have your opinions and faith, and you have a right to share them; but, could you at least lighten up a little? This site was not designed so that you could convert us all to the 'true way,' or whatever.

Thank you. That is all.

---

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 7:55 AM

ANTIMASON


this is a thread about "religions foster(ing) bad behavior".. so i think its relevant. i am sorry that i come off repetitively, but then again i am constantly having to repeat my assertion that their is a conspiracy of good and evil taking place, and that their is more to life than what we see in the 3rd dimension. i cannot help that i believe everything is related and happens for a reason

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:09 AM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Quote:

this is a thread about "religions foster(ing) bad behavior".. so i think its relevant.


Okay, I'll grant you that.

Quote:

i am sorry that i come off repetitively, but then again i am constantly having to repeat my assertion that their is a conspiracy of good and evil taking place, and that their is more to life than what we see in the 3rd dimension.


Repetition isn't necessarily a good thing. And, wouldn't it be better if you started your own thread about everything so you don't have to repeat it? It's not the best suggestion, I know, but...

::shrugs::

Quote:

i cannot help that i believe everything is related and happens for a reason


Just to be nitpicky - yes, you can. In fact, you're the only person that can change your beliefs.

---

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:18 AM

ANTIMASON


i dont believe im doing harm by offering the opinion that i do. your entitled to say that you dislike/disbelieve in a God, and that he is a bad influence over people, that everything supernatural is hocus/pocus...why am i not entitled to say the opposite? ive never had to start a thread, because everything relates to what im saying. i dont restrict your views..i ask that you do the same for me. i am not forcing my belief on anyone, only you can change your beliefs right? i am posing it as an alternative to other worldviews out there

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:23 AM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Quote:

Originally posted by antimason:
i dont believe im doing harm by offering the opinion that i do. your entitled to say that you dislike/disbelieve in a God, and that he is a bad influence over people, that everything supernatural is hocus/pocus...why am i not entitled to say the opposite? ive never had to start a thread, because everything relates to what im saying. i dont restrict your views..i ask that you do the same for me. i am not forcing my belief on anyone, only you can change your beliefs right? i am posing it as an alternative to other worldviews out there



Oh, fine. I'll be civil and drop it.

---

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 12:41 PM

DREAMTROVE


Citizen,

I'm sure that secular people, not the same as atheists, secular people, don't take the rules of their faith seriously, they may be nominally catholic, protestant, etc., but they do most surely commit more crimes, statistics are plain, I think they're about 90% on this side. I don't need to waste time with this. This argument is about as strong as the argument "evolution is bunk" and deserves no more attention. It's the left's version of intelligence design, a mad moral authority grab based on completely bogus data. And I'm *NOT* a member of this christian community, but they're extremely right on this one. Even the muslims, phooey, even Osama Bin Laden has a better moral base than this.

Quote:

I'm an existential atheist


Isn't this an oxymoron?

Quote:

Christian Taoist


I know *this* is an oxymoron.

It's better to have faith than no faith. It took me years to see this. I follow the teachings of Lao Tse, it gives me guidance. I follow because I believe that he knows something I dont, and because I believe there are forces beyond my control.

Not having a religion is like not having a lover or a job or a hobby or a home, there's not a lot of advantage to it. Doesn't mean you have to have one. But it seems silly to just reject the idea.


Signym,

But objectively I know the facts to be very different than the study shows.

If someone came up with a study that said 'people who watch more than 6 hours a day of television are healthier, more intelligent and thinner than those who watch less than one hour. - it would be very difficult for them to convince me.

I've known many religious people, and many blindly secular ones, seen many societies of each, been there, and then I've read many articles and other studies. This study doesn't even use decent logic.

I rejected secular atheist life because I saw as descending into not only decadence, but disease, drugs and near-civil-war on the streets. My personal experience tells me that faith-based lifestyle is much less disease and crime oriented.

No religious group as the fatal flaws that this secular society has. It's an utterly doomed culture.

Occultists, btw, are a faithbased organization, and more stable than the MTV alcohol club dance 'til you die in the aids emporium. I just think this secular society going to look like subsaharan africa (which is not a racial slur, i mean crime-disease-wise) in twenty years time.

Anyone who gets out of it and joins some faith based group is going to be spared this horrible degeneration into animal kingdom rules.

I think you're a smart person too, I just thing we're both on this wooden door floating down the river and you're going 'oh how peaceful and free' and I'm trying to point to the waterfall dead ahead.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 1:06 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
I'm sure that secular people, not the same as atheists, secular people, don't take the rules of their faith seriously, they may be nominally catholic, protestant, etc., but they do most surely commit more crimes, statistics are plain, I think they're about 90% on this side. I don't need to waste time with this. This argument is about as strong as the argument "evolution is bunk" and deserves no more attention. It's the left's version of intelligence design, a mad moral authority grab based on completely bogus data. And I'm *NOT* a member of this christian community, but they're extremely right on this one. Even the muslims, phooey, even Osama Bin Laden has a better moral base than this.

And yet these statistics, this data which backs up your argument and would win the debate so completely for you continue to fail to materialise.

Your argument is not strong at all; it's full of your oft seen hot air when you’re called on stuff.

"Look I'm right, okay, but this argument isn't worth my time, just accept that all the data is on my side and you're wrong, I don't need to prove anything."

This is what winds me up about you Dream, you seem to think that because the words come from you all of a sudden they’re objective fact, that some how unlike the rest of the Human race you don’t have opinions, you have objective truisms. So how about instead of telling us that your view is correct, all the data is on your side but you don't need to prove it because this whole thing is a waste of time you actually BACK IT UP.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 2:33 PM

DREAMTROVE


Citizen,

Do you know how much time I would have to spend to dig up these numbers? a lot. Do you know how much free time I actually have? very little.

Suffice it to say, I'm right, you're wrong, trust me, fall in line.

Or better put:

I'm 100% or so sure, just as sure as I've ever been, that I'm right. I hope that puts some doubt in you. There is a very short list of stuff I'm this sure about:

1. Evolution is correct and Creationism is not.
2. George W. Bush is not the best president this country has ever had.

I'm not saying believe in God (Lord knows I don't) just believe in something.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 2:51 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
1. Evolution is correct and Creationism is not.

Hey, Dreamtrove--lookie here, we disagree on something.

I believe in a Creator God. No reason, no proof--it's a philosophical preference--I just do. I understand microevolution to be fact, and macroevolution to be a very plausible and well-supported theory. In other words, I believe in both E and C, and I don't think they are mutually exclusive.

Can't Take My Gorram Sky

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 3:56 PM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
Quote:

I'm an existential atheist


Isn't this an oxymoron?

Quote:

Christian Taoist


I know *this* is an oxymoron.

It's better to have faith than no faith. It took me years to see this. I follow the teachings of Lao Tse, it gives me guidance. I follow because I believe that he knows something I dont, and because I believe there are forces beyond my control.

Not having a religion is like not having a lover or a job or a hobby or a home, there's not a lot of advantage to it. Doesn't mean you have to have one. But it seems silly to just reject the idea.



Existentialism is defined as:

"A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts."

Notice that it's a philosophy, not a religion. So, it works well with atheism. But, just to check, here's the definition:

"The doctrine or belief that there is no God."

There is no conflict as far as my eyes can see.

Although it may seem silly to you 'to just reject the idea,' I choose to, and others choose to, just as you choose to follow Lao Tse. No harm, no foul - and it doesn't make us (read: atheists) all automatically immoral, either.

---

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 5:24 PM

REAVERMAN


Antimason,
You are almost the exact same kind of person I was before I lost faith. I want to tell you from experience that its waaaaay too stressful to be constantly worrying about the apocalypse. If you believe its going to come, then just focus on being a good person and living a happy life. Don't worry about "international conspiracies of evil" or any of that. I've read Revalations and it pretty much says that all of that is inevitable, so why worry; why try to ram it down everyone elses throats when you aren't going to change anything? Just lighten up, man!

You're welcome on my boat. God ain't.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 5:39 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by SevenPercent:
Let's try and focus on the guy's premise...

There are actually two articles here: the IHS article by Foreman, and the actual study by Gregory Paul.

First, the study. It provides no operational definitions for the two main variables it studied: "religiosity" and "societal health." Religiosity is inferred from self-reported polls on "absolute belief in God," attending religious services, praying, and taking the Bible literally. Secularity is inferred mostly from acceptance of evolution. Societal health is inferred from documented rates of homicide, youth suicide, young teen pregnancy, abortion, and STD (only in some countries, criteria unclear). No information is given on the methodology and sampling of these polls, nor on their statistical validity such as confidence intervals. In other words, we don't know if the people they surveyed for religious beliefs are representative of their countries and can be connected to their countries' "dysfunction" statistics.

I find these inferences seriously flawed. First, "religiosity" seems to be targeted mostly at only theistic religions, if not only at Christianity. It ignores the 2 main non-theistic religions of Japan, Shintoism and Buddhism, both of which have no "absolute belief in God," few religious services, little praying, and certainly no literal Bible. So according to Paul, a devout Japanese Buddhist who accepts evolution will be categorized as secular and non-religious. For that matter, a Christian whose belief in God is not "absolute," who may accept evolution in addition to creationism, and who doesn't attend services etc. shows up as secular as well.

Secondly, the measures for societal health are grossly confounded. There are so many other factors involved in rates of homicide, youth suicide, teen pregnancy, abortion, and STD besides "absolute belief in God." To his credit, the author does qualify that this "correlation" (he didn't use any statistical analyses--only straight incidence rates) does not mean a causal link, and that the purpose of this study was not to prove causality, but to inspire more research. But given his haphazard vagueness of religiosity, the "correlation" makes as much sense as saying, the more a nation accepts evolution, the lower the homicide rates are. At BEST, the only thing he can say is, MAYBE there is a relationship between the two. And maybe there isn't a relationship at all.

Then we come to Foreman's IHS article. My, my, talk about confirmation bias (the tendency to grasp at any and all "evidence" to support one's bias). The guy takes maybe-there-is-a-relationship to "ground-breaking study...[that] demolished the myth that faith strengthens society." He then continues to contrive all sorts of explanations (not addressed in the study) on what this correlation means. He's waving this "evidence" like a trophy for his philosophical platform. Except there isn't any evidence--there is only preliminary, poorly defended data used for some intriguing conjecture.

Can't Take My Gorram Sky

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 7:51 PM

FREMDFIRMA


I think you're all coming at it from the wrong angle - so I figure to share mine.

"I don't care one whit what you BELIEVE, I care what you DO!"

What one believes, and why, is an internal question and issue that is quite properly none of our business, and there is no guarantee that someone would be honest if asked - especially if they thought a certain response was expected.

Ergo, why should we care ?

Someones ACTIONS define them to me, what they DO, and if those actions are defined, encouraged and supported by religion, and they are humane, civil and benevolent actions, then one could say overall that the religion is a good influance on that person and that is all one could say.

The exact same religion as internally defined by someone else, could result in a lynching or a massacre - the belief itself is a non-factor in respect to WHO someone IS.

And their actions define that, not their beliefs.

Just a perspective, from my end of things.

-Frem

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Monday, August 21, 2006 3:00 AM

DREAMTROVE


CTTS,

Most scientists agree with you, they support big bang, which is essentially biblical creationism reinvented as a science. I don't, I see creation as an ongoing process, not an event, and caused by forces, not by an entity. I guess if you ever came around to my way of thinking you'd probably become a taoist too. I'm not coming back your way, btw, I started out there, I'm pretty sure it's wrong. Nothing is ever certain, but I've got a strong hunch that that just isn't how it is.


Yinyang,

I'm not at all sure that there's a difference between philosphy and religion. People ascribe to a philosophy, and believe in a religion, but it's really just semantics. I suppose you can have a smaller dedication to a philosophy, but if Nietzschian were a religion, I'd probably be a member. Also, religions in the east are not not exclusive, ie., none of this 'no other god before me' nonsense. You can be a taoist and a bhuddist, etc. so the line is real fuzzy.


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Monday, August 21, 2006 5:05 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

i ask that they consider the relevency of what is known about the occult in America
As far as I'm concerned, all religions are "occult". Really, there is no distinguishing one from the other as they all claim to be "the" true religion, and it's all just a random matter of who you choose to believe.
Quote:

these people, who support the beast, will then murder and persecute any and all dissenters against the antiChrists kindgom.
I assume that means they'll also persecute atheists. Nothing new there
Quote:

it will be better to be persecuted, and to flee from authority, then to take the mark and live under the system of the Beast, that is for sure
Well, good luck on that. It prolly means leaving the USA.
--------------
EDITED TO ADD This is one of the many thing I don't like about religion. Here's an intepretation I challenge you to either adopt or refute. Prove your point either way... don't resort to just calling them the AntiChrist if you disagree, and if you agree tell me how this is different from Islam
Quote:

Sunday school teacher dumped for being female
WATERTOWN, New York (AP) -- The minister of a church that dismissed a female Sunday School teacher after adopting what it called a literal interpretation of the Bible says a woman can perform any job -- outside of the church.

The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on August 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years. The letter quoted the first epistle to Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."

ww.cnn.com/2006/US/08/21/menonly.sundayschool.ap/index.html

---------------------------------
Reality sucks. Especially when it contradicts our cherished ideas.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 6:06 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
Suffice it to say, I'm right, you're wrong, trust me, fall in line.

You're wrong, I'm right, fall in line.

I have reams of evidence, but not the time to get it.

Wow this is easy



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 6:28 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

CTTS, Most scientists agree with you, they support big bang, which is essentially biblical creationism reinvented as a science.
I'm with you on this one. Let's see... we see a red shift in stars that becomes more pronounced with distance, and rather than hypothesizing that there is "something" about space that affects light we postulate that everything is racing apart. And then we have to invent dark matter and dark energy and stuff to make it all fit, when we might be further ahead examining our initial premise.
Quote:

Yinyang, I'm not at all sure that there's a difference between philosphy and religion. People ascribe to a philosophy, and believe in a religion, but it's really just semantics.
Philosophy is the study of knowledge. How do we know what we know, and why. Ethics are our guiding principles of "right" and "wrong". Religion is belief in the supernatural. It's not "just semantics".


---------------------------------
Reality sucks. Especially when it contradicts our cherished ideas.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:04 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
I'm with you on this one. Let's see... we see a red shift in stars that becomes more pronounced with distance, and rather than hypothesizing that there is "something" about space that affects light we postulate that everything is racing apart. And then we have to invent dark matter and dark energy and stuff to make it all fit, when we might be further ahead examining our initial premise.

Dark matter has been shown to exist, it's a question of how much.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:07 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
I see creation as an ongoing process, not an event, and caused by forces, not by an entity.

So do I, strangely. Except, I attribute the process and the forces to a Creator entity. Again, I don't find them mutually exclusive.

Quote:

I'm pretty sure it's wrong.
If you have evidence, I'd be interested in considering your position. If it is just a philosophy, I'm not sure that anyone can claim one philosophy to be right and the others wrong, per se.

Can't Take My Gorram Sky

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:08 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


And dark energy???

I admit, I don't follow this twists and turns of cosmology very closely. They all lost me when they started talking about dark energy. As I recall, there was one other construct that had to be added to the Big Bang theory to make it all fit... some sort of adjustment to gravity itself or something along those lines. When I see that many fudge factors hnaging off a theory I start to question the theory.

But I'm always willing to listen to those who know more than I...
---------------------------------
Reality sucks. Especially when it contradicts our cherished ideas.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:23 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Philosophy is the study of knowledge. How do we know what we know, and why. Ethics are our guiding principles of "right" and "wrong". Religion is belief in the supernatural. It's not "just semantics".

Others might subscribe to different definitions.

How we know what we know is a very specific branch of philosophy called epistemology. There are other branches of philosophy that are virtually indistinguishable from religion. Not all religions require belief in the supernatural.

Taoism, buddhism, zen buddhism, and some types of hinduism are just a few examples of the blurry, artificial line between religion and philosophy.

Can't Take My Gorram Sky

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:27 AM

DREAMTROVE


Signym,

I think that light loses minute amounts of energy as it passes through space, causing the eventual redshift. Go far enough out, and there's still stuff beyond that, causing the outer red glow.

Maybe that's dark matter absorbing and re-emitting, but it's not essential that that be the cause, there could just be a slow decay, A pendulum slowly loses its swing, why not the same with light?

The biggest flaw in the big bang theory is that it predicts a distribution of matter which is not what we see. I think there was a thread earlier where a lot of people went into a lot of detail about this.

I'm not sure your distinction on religion is on target. Religion in the east is not about supernatural, supernatural is there, often, but not always, and supernatural is very often there in the absense of religion.

To me, religion is faith that something has wisdom, and that that wisdom can be a guide to a set of moral principles, or a practice, which would hopefully lead society as a whole to a better state. In this society, I think we have an unspoken religion which is allopathy. It's not a science, because no one in the practice, or the 'congregation' actually understands the science, they just believe in it, and trust it to make their lives better. I think they do this often in the absence of evidence.

Wikipedia says it's both of these things, but I'm just calling it as I see it.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:32 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
When I see that many fudge factors hnaging off a theory I start to question the theory.

Yet when *I* say that, I get accused of being a compulsive anti-establishmentarian. Sigh.

I'm with you on the Big Bang theory. I think it is GOOD to ask questions when noticing contrivances and inconsistencies. Not all "scientific" theories are equal, just because they are proposed by scientists. Some have more evidence and less conjecture than others.



Can't Take My Gorram Sky

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:41 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
And dark energy???

I admit, I don't follow this twists and turns of cosmology very closely. They all lost me when they started talking about dark energy. As I recall, there was one other construct that had to be added to the Big Bang theory to make it all fit... some sort of adjustment to gravity itself or something along those lines. When I see that many fudge factors hnaging off a theory I start to question the theory.

But I'm always willing to listen to those who know more than I...

Dark Energy is summerised here better than I could do it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 7:41 AM

DREAMTROVE


Citizen,

Whatever. I'm not interested in arguing the point, if you want to win, go ahead, it's your own ignorance. Or you could look it up, it's totally not worth my time to try convincing you, I don't think it can be done, and I think the answer is as obvious as black and white. At some point, I suspect you will see it, but I have no interest in carrying you there. No offence, btw, I think you're a decent person, but it's not really worth my time to climb the huge wall that people put around themselves, I call it as I see it, and then move on. So, moving on.

CTTS

The forces are the forces, they are not guided by anything or anyone. There's just no evidence that it's the case. I don't believe in things that don't *have* to be true. Only believe in what is necessary to explain what you see. The rest of this just complicates things.

Also, I think God is a trick that most people have fallen for. Yhwh, imho, is evil, and if you're at all curious, shoot me an email - dreamtrove [~at~] gmail.com - and we can talk more about it, but I think the board is cluttered with disputes to which everyone will weigh in, and it'll become a battle of the godheads vs. the atheists, a place I have no desire to be.

I guess the issue is not so much right or wrong, or maybe it is, but some philosophies lead in a good direction, in the direction of truth, and others are a distraction. A lot of distraction gets in your way and you have to shut it out, but you have to be careful not to shut out a possible truth. Still, there's just a gut feeling I get, maybe I can quanitfy it, but it's like a balance of evidence, and you just eventually say 'oh this is hogwash' and move on. If you have 2 million people with one page of evidence between them on one side, and 2 guys with 2 million pages of evidence on the other side, the 2 guys are probably right. I'm not sure yet if number of guys should be divided by pages of evidence or not.

Also, take serious suspicion to anything with an agenda. The secular study has the agenda of undermining religion's purpose for existance, the 'there is a god' theory has the agenda of getting you to follow in the cult of Yhwh, God of War, so that when leaders do things which are in like with such a deity, you will have no biblical precendent on which to base you opposition. Evolution doesn't have an agenda. Things change, that's why there's time.

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