REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

About American religions

POSTED BY: NIKI2
UPDATED: Saturday, March 26, 2011 09:22
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Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:18 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I was googling something to respond to a post, and found myself wandering around Wikipedia a bit. Came to "Religion in the United States" and was surprised to find that, while the majority of the country is Christian in one form or another , the SECOND highest number isn't any other religion, it's NO religion!

By a large margin, no less. Christians are estimated to be 76-82% of the population; No Religion (agnostic, atheist, and other) is next at 11-16%. After that it drops precipitously: Jewish, 1-2%; Islamic .6-2.6%; buddhist .5-.9%; Hindi .4; and other 1.4%. I found that fascinating.

I also found interesting what was said about the “unaffiliated”:
Quote:

A 2001 survey directed by Dr. Ariela Keysar for the City University of New York indicated that, amongst the more than 100 categories of response, "no religious identification" had the greatest increase in population in both absolute and percentage terms. This category included atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others with no theistic religious beliefs or practices. Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 34.2 million in 2008, representing a proportionate increase from 8% of the total in 1990 to 15% in 2008. Another nation-wide study puts the figure of unaffiliated persons at 16.1%.

In a 2006 nationwide poll, University of Minnesota researchers found that despite an increasing acceptance of religious diversity, atheists were generally distrusted by other Americans, who rated them below Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society". They also associated atheists with undesirable attributes such as criminal behavior, rampant materialism, and cultural elitism. However, the same study also reported that "The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation--with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts."

Wikipedia

There’s lots more fascinating things on that Wikipedia page, this just struck me. I’m actually kind of an “unaffiliated” myself, in that I chose buddhism because it’s more a philosophy than a religion and there IS no “god”. It gets lumped with “religions”, but I guess if one wants to be accurate, we’d be lumped with the unaffiliateds. For me, my beliefs match those of buddhism for the most part, but there are areas in which we digress, and I don’t really consider it a “religion”.

I was just curious as to what other thought about this; to me it was a new piece of information, to find out people who claim no religion at all are the second-highest percentage (by a LOT) of Americans.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:31 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I identify as a non-theistic quasi-Buddhist. I wasn't polled for this, but I'd definitely count as unaffiliated, I think. I didn't know the numbers were quite so high, but it also doesn't surprise me. I've encountered a whole lot of atheists and agnostics in my life. Fewer Buddhists, but a fair few of them, as well. At the same time, a majority of people I've met (classmates, coworkers, etc.) find me to be rather unusual in my belief structure.


Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:09 PM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I'm lucky, Rose; in Marin, there are lots of buddhists--"American" buddhists, as in "converts" if you will, so I'm far from alone. We have big populations of "traditional" buddhists (i.e., Japanese, etc.) in the Bay Area as well. When I go to temple for Sunday meditation, it's a great big room and it's full to standing room...and of course, CA, the Bay Area in particular, is inhabited by a LOT of different thinkers, so it's not surprising. I think a lot of those who attend buddhist events would call themselves "non-theistic", since buddhism IS non-theistic in essence. One could actually add the statistics for buddhists to the "no religion" if one wanted to, given we have no god.

I guess I'd have to answer to "quasi-buddhist", too, given I don't accept all the tenants of buddhism. Still on the fence about reincarnation, among other things...


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Thursday, March 17, 2011 4:17 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
I was just curious as to what other thought about this...

I'm not surprised there are a lot more agnostics/atheists than Muslims, Jews, and other religions. America is a very secular state, what with the separation of church and state and all.

Thanks for digging up the stats, Niki.




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Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:27 PM

DREAMTROVE


I doubt the data. I know of none off the top of my head, and I'm really trying. Okay. Let me go through my head, everyone I know. Okay, most of them aren't very religious, but a lot of jews and christians. Some really religious christians, and some buddhists. Some muslims. what I think of as standard denominational christians are not all that religious. Some nominal catholics that are barely religious at all. Some Taoists like myself. Can't say as I know any atheists. I have, but I think more people might say they were on a poll.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:45 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I'm surprised that that many identify as being Christians. I wonder how many of those who identify as Christians are actually actively doing things to follow God etc. and how many just said it because they think that America is a Christian country so they just chose that as their category regardless of actual beliefs. It isn't my place to judge who is a Christian and who isn't though, all we can do is look at self identification data, it isn't my place to say anything more on the matter.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Friday, March 18, 2011 7:41 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Yer most welcome, CTS, I found it very interesting.

Sadly, Riona, I strongly suspect the latter. Worse than that are how many consider themselves BETTER "christians" than others, yet behave and think in MOST un-Christian ways!

My parents considered themselves "Christian", Protestant actually, I think, or Presbyterian or something, and when I was a child went to church weekly. My mother always joked it was my dad's "best hour's sleep of the week"--she sat me between them so I could poke him awake when he started snoring. I think she went for social reasons, and to be seen, given how much time she spent preparing, how little attention she paid to the sermons and how much she enjoyed singing the hymns (she had a gorgeous voice--I got my dad's...).

They stopped somewhere along the way, I have no idea when, but I'm pretty sure considered themselves Christians all their lives. Despite behaviors and beliefs I would call somewhat removed from "Christian".

To each his own I guess, I was just surprised to see the high percentage of "none of the above"s.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Friday, March 18, 2011 7:57 AM

BLUEHANDEDMENACE


Atheists and fundamental christians are far less different than each group would likely believe...

After all, Christians only disbelieve one more religion than Atheists...

I cant think of the author offhand, but an amazing book on this subject was referred to me by my father. Its called The God Delusion. Does a fantatstic job of exploring why people hold the beliefs they do, and why religion ultimately makes no sense.

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Friday, March 18, 2011 7:57 AM

BLUEHANDEDMENACE


Atheists and fundamental christians are far less different than each group would likely believe...

After all, Christians only disbelieve one more religion than atheists...

I cant think of the author offhand, but an amazing book on this subject was referred to me by my father. Its called The God Delusion. Does a fantatstic job of exploring why people hold the beliefs they do, and why religion ultimately makes no sense.

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Friday, March 18, 2011 8:27 AM

BYTEMITE



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Friday, March 18, 2011 8:41 AM

DREAMTROVE


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:

Cat got your tongue?

I see it deleted my response

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Friday, March 18, 2011 8:49 AM

BYTEMITE


Well, I realized you were probably talking about people you know, as opposed to people on the internet.

And then when I was trying to figure out something else to say, all of a sudden my entire world shouted "MEH." And I took a nap. Or tried to anyway. My life is very exciting.

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Friday, March 18, 2011 2:45 PM

DREAMTROVE


lol

meh covers it.

yeah, people I know offline, who admittedly are colocated, but it's not like the rest of the country is less religious than ny

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Friday, March 18, 2011 2:51 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
I guess I'd have to answer to "quasi-buddhist", too, given I don't accept all the tenants of buddhism.


I just don't practice or meditate as often as I should. It's on my long list of things I should do more of. The breathing exercises are fantastic for the test anxiety, though.


The God Delusion is by Richard Dawkins. (He is famous evolutionary science atheist guy. Parodied on South Park and everything!) Carl Sagan and Sam Harris also have some thoughts on the matter that some might find worth reading.


I have never in my real life met anyone who identified as Muslim or Jewish. I've met plenty of people with Jewish heritage, but not Jewish faith. I've met a lot of Christians, but the majority of them have moved in the periphery of my life, just as I've mostly moved in the periphery of theirs. I think one or two of my good friends are Christian, two are Pagan/Wiccan, and the rest are some flavor of agnostic or atheist, that or they're very quiet about their affiliation. Almost everyone finds it anomalous that I was raised by two Buddhists, which I suppose it is. I've never gotten a negative reaction to it, just a sort of "Oh, wow, that's different."


Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.

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Friday, March 18, 2011 4:27 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
I doubt the data. I know of none off the top of my head, and I'm really trying.



You know, or at least associate, with me. I'm a militant agnostic, and Madame Geezer is a non-denominational pagan.

To paraphrase Manuel O'Kelly-Davis, I don't know who (if anyone) is up there cranking. I'm pleased they don't stop.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Friday, March 18, 2011 8:54 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by BlueHandedMenace:
Atheists and fundamental christians are far less different than each group would likely believe...

After all, Christians only disbelieve one more religion than atheists...

I cant think of the author offhand, but an amazing book on this subject was referred to me by my father. Its called The God Delusion. Does a fantatstic job of exploring why people hold the beliefs they do, and why religion ultimately makes no sense.



Richard Dawkins

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 6:11 AM

DREAMTROVE


Byte was right, I was only counting offline people.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 7:03 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


I'm atheist, and my (non)belief is as reliable as the tides. Tide comes in, tide goes out; never a miscommunication. ;)

I know lots of Christians; I know a few Jewish people - some by heritage, one by faith; I know a Muslim couple, and a whole lot of agnostics, a few pagans, a Buddhist or two, and several atheists. For the most part, they're all just folks.



"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 8:49 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by BlueHandedMenace:
Atheists and fundamental christians are far less different than each group would likely believe...

After all, Christians only disbelieve one more religion than Atheists...

I cant think of the author offhand, but an amazing book on this subject was referred to me by my father. Its called The God Delusion. Does a fantatstic job of exploring why people hold the beliefs they do, and why religion ultimately makes no sense.




Richard Dawkins....great book.

Try Carl Sagan's "Demon haunted world"...you might enjoy it, he not only hammers religion but ufo's, withches, and why we humans believe a bunch of other bullshit.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 3:16 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
I'm atheist, and my (non)belief is as reliable as the tides. Tide comes in, tide goes out; never a miscommunication. ;)

I know lots of Christians; I know a few Jewish people - some by heritage, one by faith; I know a Muslim couple, and a whole lot of agnostics, a few pagans, a Buddhist or two, and several atheists. For the most part, they're all just folks.




^Goes for me as well. Most people I know don't talk about religion at all, but that is Australia. A pretty secular place. As for Christians, most are Catholics or Anglicans, but the Fundies seem to be on the increase.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 3:30 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by BlueHandedMenace:

After all, Christians only disbelieve one more religion than atheists...



I think you've got that backwards. Christians are "atheists" about all gods except one: theirs. They don't believe in Zeus, Mercury, Mars, or Poseidon. Ditto Jews and Muslims. Atheists just go them all one better.

I mean really, if you saw someone in school praying to Pan or Loki, wouldn't you think them rather silly? That's how I view people praying to God, Allah, or Yahweh.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 3:41 PM

BYTEMITE


I think he was talking about how some Christians aren't really Christians, so in a way they disbelieve their own religion, or something.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 5:10 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
I mean really, if you saw someone in school praying to Pan or Loki, wouldn't you think them rather silly?



No.

Then again yer talkin to someone who at one (admittedly very low) point of their life, worshipped "The Bomb" with outright religious fervor.
(Which is why the Church of the Atom in Fallout cracks me up, mind you...)


Byte, more like Communism, in that folks take on the label without the belief, because Christianity is the official "Government-Approved" religion, and being "Of the Party" carries benefits whether one actually believes or is just paying lip service.

And I *DO* mean that Government-Approved snark directly, between blue laws, sin taxes, various public oaths, some of the wording of background checks, tax exemptions, faith based funding... on and on, no matter what it says on paper, the reality of it is that Judeo-Christian morality is prevalent within, and pushed heavily, by our Government - often upon people who know damn well that resistance or defiance has all manner of social and legal consequences, which being a "Good Christian" (i.e. fucking sociopath!) will get you out of easily.

So in essence it's the same thing as being "Of the Party" in the former Soviet Union, really - ain't a matter of believing per se, as simply playing ball with the official line in order to not get stomped on.

And yea, verily, I may sound bitter or harsh about it, cause I am not without my prejudices, no one really is, but consider it from the perspective of a religious outsider who doesn't whatever share that morality, having it crammed down their throat 24-7-365 by a society that then denies they do it, you'd be kinda bitter too.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 8:25 PM

DREAMTROVE


The communism of communist states has a parallel in theocracy. There are a number of beliefs in Iran that cloak themselves as Islam, because it's the state religion. *Officially* other religions are tolerated, and the govt. makes token efforts to prove that, but we all know this is nonsense, and that if you want to get anywhere, you have to be a muslim. Shi'a, And so there are many variants of this religion that are actually other religions.

Similarly, pagan beliefs in Celtic areas in Britain continued under the cloak of Christianity, and still do today in africa and central america.

All of this doesn't stop communism or socialism from essentially being a monotheistic religion.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011 4:48 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
The communism of communist states has a parallel in theocracy. There are a number of beliefs in Iran that cloak themselves as Islam, because it's the state religion. *Officially* other religions are tolerated, and the govt. makes token efforts to prove that, but we all know this is nonsense, and that if you want to get anywhere, you have to be a muslim. Shi'a, And so there are many variants of this religion that are actually other religions.




Is there any part of that statement that doesn't equally apply to the U.S. and "Christianity"? I mean, *officially* we're supposed to be secular, and your religion isn't supposed to matter - unless you commit the sin of being a Muslim or an atheist running for public office, of course.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Sunday, March 20, 2011 7:23 AM

DREAMTROVE


You can be a Jew in America. In fact, it's worshiped.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011 10:43 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

I'm atheist, and my (non)belief is as reliable as the tides. Tide comes in, tide goes out; never a miscommunication. ;)
Nice one, Mike. I also agree about the silliness---to me---of people praying to a god, which to me is no different than praying to ANY “god” throughout history.

Thanx for the book suggestions, I’ll have to look into those. It’s always amazed me how people can be so blind and ignorant about clinging to their religion, and not recognize ANY of the contradictions or irrationality of those who they believe unquestioningly.

I've got nothing against FAITH, especially if it gives people comfort or helps them become more decent human beings. But I don't see that holding true unilaterally (or even necessarily in the majority)in ANY religion.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Sunday, March 20, 2011 11:28 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.



This is kind of unrelated, but Niki, you need to add some /font tags to the beginning of your signature, or something. For every single tag you have affecting font, you need an end tag, and your font formatting is bleeding into the rest of the site because it isn't all being ended. When I add two /font tags to the beginnings of my posts, the bleed through stops. You also have an opening tag for italic at the end as well as the beginning of your signature, making the italic bleed through as well. (I've also noticed some bold tags bleeding through, but I think that's mostly due to the quote bold tags getting messed up.)


Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011 11:37 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I'll check on that, I thought I'd taken precautions against it, because when someone uses bold OR italic I noticed on v.2 that it carries on to every succeeding post, which bothered me.

I actually DID have a "close font" at the beginning of my signature, but not two of them, so I'll put 'em both in the body. And I missed the "close italics". Thanx for letting me know. Let's see if this works. Would you reply to my post so I can see if it works?



Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Sunday, March 20, 2011 1:13 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Yeah, v.1 of the site seemed to keep that sort of thing restricted by post, but I've noticed it happening a lot over on the beta. Sooo, testing!

ETA: Looking good! Thanks!


Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.

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Monday, March 21, 2011 4:14 AM

DREAMTROVE


PR,

I've just experimented, let me know if you find any bugs like that from my posts.

I know after a Niki post, all text is grey even after you cancel fonts, I don't know why, the only way I can think to get around that is an explicit font color=white which I hate to do because if you don't have your browser on default, that text can disappear.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Monday, March 21, 2011 4:31 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Canceling font twice worked, but I think she has it set up so it won't bug out now.
I don't notice any text turning red that shouldn't be. Right after you post in beta, you can always check the text at the bottom of the screen that talks about copyright, and see if it's anything other than plain color, unitalic, unbold text. If it is, you have an html bleed.


Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.

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Monday, March 21, 2011 5:59 AM

DREAMTROVE


Thanks, that's a better solution.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Monday, March 21, 2011 7:22 AM

HARDWARE


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Quote:

I'm atheist, and my (non)belief is as reliable as the tides. Tide comes in, tide goes out; never a miscommunication. ;)
Nice one, Mike. I also agree about the silliness---to me---of people praying to a god, which to me is no different than praying to ANY “god” throughout history.

Thanx for the book suggestions, I’ll have to look into those. It’s always amazed me how people can be so blind and ignorant about clinging to their religion, and not recognize ANY of the contradictions or irrationality of those who they believe unquestioningly.

I've got nothing against FAITH, especially if it gives people comfort or helps them become more decent human beings. But I don't see that holding true unilaterally (or even necessarily in the majority)in ANY religion.



I've noticed atheists get thin on the ground when incoming rounds get thick.

Not that I worry about the state of other people's souls. I've never believed in forcing religion on people. If they want it, they know where to find it.

The more I get to know people the more I like my dogs.

...and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36

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Monday, March 21, 2011 7:59 AM

WULFENSTAR

http://youtu.be/VUnGTXRxGHg


Evangelical Atheists

annoy the hell out of me.



"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies"



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Monday, March 21, 2011 10:53 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I checked the "copyright" thing, Rose, and it looks normal to me. If anyone else gets something weird from my posts, please speak up and I'll try to fix it. Never had "carryover" problems on v.1, and the colors always seemed okay...I had trouble with the colors in v.2, but I thought I got it fixed. Sigh...

Hardware:
Quote:

I've noticed atheists get thin on the ground when incoming rounds get thick.
If I could make heads or tails of that statement, I might be able to reply to it. If you're saying atheists are on thin ground, what "thick" rounds do you mean? I'm not an atheist, by the way, tho' you chose to quote me; the closest you could say was I'm an "agnostic"; I do believe there's an interconnectedness, and maybe some "force" behind it. I just don't believe in a patriarchal figure who's listening to everyone and judging our lives.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Monday, March 21, 2011 2:45 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:

I've noticed atheists get thin on the ground when incoming rounds get thick.

Not that I worry about the state of other people's souls. I've never believed in forcing religion on people. If they want it, they know where to find it.



And I've noticed that so-called "christians" seem to die in wars just like everyone else. Their "belief" doesn't help them one bit when they're blown to bits.

Quote:

Wulfie posted:


Evangelical Atheists

annoy the hell out of me.



Evangelical ANYTHINGS annoy the hell out of me. Evangelical teabaggers are the worst.



"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Monday, March 21, 2011 2:47 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
I checked the "copyright" thing, Rose, and it looks normal to me. If anyone else gets something weird from my posts, please speak up and I'll try to fix it. Never had "carryover" problems on v.1, and the colors always seemed okay...I had trouble with the colors in v.2, but I thought I got it fixed. Sigh...

Hardware:
Quote:

I've noticed atheists get thin on the ground when incoming rounds get thick.
If I could make heads or tails of that statement, I might be able to reply to it. If you're saying atheists are on thin ground, what "thick" rounds do you mean? I'm not an atheist, by the way, tho' you chose to quote me; the closest you could say was I'm an "agnostic"; I do believe there's an interconnectedness, and maybe some "force" behind it. I just don't believe in a patriarchal figure who's listening to everyone and judging our lives.



He's just trying to paraphrase the old "There are no atheists in a foxhole" line of malarky. It wasn't true then, and it isn't true now.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Monday, March 21, 2011 3:34 PM

CANTTAKESKY


[/font]
Quote:

I had trouble with the colors in v.2, but I thought I got it fixed.
Niki, I have noticed the color, italicization, and font size running over for a while now.

Can you give me the exact color code and font size you use so I can cancel it at the beginning of my post? Then you can see the difference.

The /font tags don't seem to work for me.



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Monday, March 21, 2011 6:13 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
The /font tags don't seem to work for me.


That's because you aren't using a tag, you're using brackets.

Yeah, still getting spillover. You may need to add another closing tag, Niki, I'm not sure why it stopped working from the last time you posted. But, this time I only needed to add one closing tag to the beginning of my post instead of two, so one more in your posts should do it. You have two font tags, you see, one for color and one for face. Both need ending. Then you have another tag in your sig, that also needs ending, but you have that one covered.


On topic: I've never been in a foxhole, but I have been in situations where it would have been super great if God would intervene on my behalf. In my youth, I even tried asking. When my car got stolen, for a minor example, I begged whatever almighty powers that might be out there to get a police car there as soon as possible, to get a safe ride home, to get my car back in one piece. Nothing except the ride home, courtesy of family. For years, I searched for answers to the demons that plagued me in every spiritual pursuit I could stomach. Well, I never got an answer from theology, I got answers from chemistry. I had what could be equated with a religious experience, except it was science that I awoke to, and it continues to serve me well. If I were ever in a foxhole, I would be calling upon armor and kevlar to save me, not God.



Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:46 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I know what happened. I changed it in my signature when we first "spoke", then forgot to change it in the signature on my PROFILE! So it only worked once. I'll fix that, because yes, I know about all that stuff, Rose, it just took you speaking up before I realized it was this way in v.2. I've had a heckofa time getting myself "moved over" to v.2, hopefully that's the last of it. I'll fix the sig in my profile.

Sorry about that...but I wish others would get it too. When someone sets their post in bold or italic, it carries over for me for the rest of the thread; we need to tell THEM, too. Thanx for letting me know. Let me know if this works, wouldja please?

The foxhole-conversion things is ridiculous...the idea that people suddenly "get religion" in war doesn't cut it for me; do they keep it once the war is over? Isn't that pure selfishness, to suddenly start praying to a god 'cuz you're scared? I've been in some tight spots, never occurred to me to pray to anyone. I would think those who suddenly get religion in foxholes haven't actually changed, they're just scared...there's quite enough of the other kind of fear in religions, I don't know why any real Christians would want converts that way!

Hell, that's a large part of religion anyway, the idea that death is the end, that there's no patriarchal god in charge of everything...fear works great to encourage worshipping something, anything that will take the responsibility away, judge whether we're doing right or wrong and punish or reward, rather than us judging ourselves. I don't buy it.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:12 AM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Quote:

The foxhole-conversion things is ridiculous...the idea that people suddenly "get religion" in war doesn't cut it for me; do they keep it once the war is over? Isn't that pure selfishness, to suddenly start praying to a god 'cuz you're scared? I've been in some tight spots, never occurred to me to pray to anyone. I would think those who suddenly get religion in foxholes haven't actually changed, they're just scared...there's quite enough of the other kind of fear in religions, I don't know why any real Christians would want converts that way!


Why not? I find in most tense situations it's good to trust your instincts and is it unreasonable that another's instincts could lead them to a good thing? Should we all judge you for how you found your religion or lack there of? Obviously if it didn't stick after the war is over, then he/she probably never really found it and they were just scared. Also, I'd posit the 'foxhole conversion' is borne more out of fear of bullets and the like than a fear of God.

Christianity is kinda based off of how none of us deserve forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, and so our generous God's made it available to everyone. Not something to be proud of on account of you can't earn it. It's something freely given to all who believe and try their best to do right. There's no shortage of God's love and thus no reason for it to be exclusive. 'Real Christians' aren't picky about where their brother's and sisters came from.

Now, I'm not in any way promoting aggressive proselytizing or conversion via fear (assuming such a conversion is actually real and possible). I'm just saying, however you came across your faith, I'm fine with it and happy for you, so long as you really believe.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:19 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


I really believe what I believe, so you must be happy for me! :)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:40 PM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
I really believe what I believe, so you must be happy for me! :)



How can I not be when you seem so cheerful?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:49 PM

QUESTIONABLEQUESTIONALITY


How can you people talk about this stuff right smack dab in the middle of Barry throwing us into another war...jeezes com'on

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:43 PM

LILI

Doing it backwards. Walking up the downslide.


I think I will let the Men In Hats speak for me.




Facts are stubborn things.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:08 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Actually, while the atheist-foxhole thing has been about as debunked as ever possible, one amusing parallel to it is the Saturday morning hangover and worshipping the round ceramic altar of Bacchus....

And making deals with god, any god, if they'll only get you out of this.

And they don't, right ?

BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU LIE!!!!
*laughs maniacally*

Sorry, hadda do it.

-F

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 6:33 AM

HARDWARE


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:

Actually, while the atheist-foxhole thing has been about as debunked as ever possible, one amusing parallel to it is the Saturday morning hangover and worshipping the round ceramic altar of Bacchus....

And making deals with god, any god, if they'll only get you out of this.

And they don't, right ?

BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU LIE!!!!
*laughs maniacally*

Sorry, hadda do it.

-F



Regarding foxhole conversions; all of the stress praying to God never lasted beyond the end of stress. But religion is supposed to help you. If you are judging the worth of that conversion, temporary or not,.. well, I believe the bible does say something about judging others. It is basically a sign of helplessness in a given situation and an appeal to a higher power to save them. I'm totally fine with that. And for all of you who have said foxhole conversions have been debunked, I'd like your sources. If those sources have been in combat or life threatening situations, that would be even better.

Since I've come to grips with my own inevitable fate and made my peace with religion it has given me remarkable freedom.

I'm not trying to convert anyone to anything. Figure it out for yourself. But my opinion is that religion is good. Organized religion is bad. There is only one God and everyone worships God in his or her own way.

The more I get to know people the more I like my dogs.

...and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 7:16 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Ahhhh, semantics. My belief rather is that FAITH is good; organized religion is bad. IS there such a thing as “unorganized religion”?
Quote:

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviors, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.
Wiki

Like Book saying “believe in something” and “why you think I’m talking about God” (paraphrased). “Belief” or “faith” are one thing...to me at least, “religion” is organized.

As to judging others, we all do. I don’t care how careful one is, how self-aware or how determined not to, we judge. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be alive, it’s human nature. We have to “judge” who to trust, who to like, etc. I understand what you mean by judging, but I think it’s more like “judging negatively”, “judgmental” or “condemning” or something, because we all judged every day. Again, semantics; you’ll have to forgive me, I adore language and especially all the subtleties of the English language. It can make for some wonderful debates!

While I certainly believe some have turned to a god when in life-and-death situations and would disagree about the use of “debunked”, there is this, again from Wiki:
Quote:

The statement "There are no atheists in foxholes" is an aphorism used to argue that in times of extreme stress or fear, such as when participating in warfare, all people will believe in or hope for a higher power.

The religious convictions of current U.S. military personnel are similar to that of the general American population, though the military are slightly less religious. Though the term is occasionally used to incorrectly imply that all soldiers in combat are "converted" while under fire it is most commonly only used to emphasise the belief of the sayer that many people tend to seek out a divine power when they are facing an extreme threat.

The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, an atheist organization, opposes the use of this phrase. They have adopted the catchphrase of "Atheists in Foxholes" to emphasize that the original statement is just an aphorism and not a statistical fact. James Morrow has been quoted as saying "'There are no atheists in foxholes' isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes."

The quote is also referenced when discussing the opposite effect — that warfare will cause some soldiers to question their existing belief in a God due to the death and violence around them.

A number of prominent individuals have been both atheists and combat veterans. During the coverage of his death and subsequent cryonic suspension, Baseball Hall of Famer and combat fighter pilot Ted Williams was reported to be an atheist by his former teammate Johnny Pesky. Richard Tillman, in giving the eulogy for his brother, former NFL player and soldier Pat Tillman, stated that Tillman "wasn't religious.". Tillman's atheism is also confirmed in a documentary about his life. In his 1988 book "Intellectuals," Paul Johnson states that writer and World War I veteran[18] Ernest Hemingway "not only did not believe in God but regarded organized religion as a menace to human happiness." Philip Paulson, plaintiff in several of the lawsuits in the Mount Soledad cross controversy, was an atheist Vietnam combat veteran.

Joe Simpson, author of the book Touching The Void, explicitly addresses the issue in the film adaptation of his nearly fatal climb of the Siula Grande mountain. Referring to the moment he lay at the bottom of a deep crevasse, dehydrated, alone and with a broken leg, he states: '"I was totally convinced I was on my own, that no one was coming to get me. I was brought up as a devout Catholic. I'd long since stopped believing in God. I always wondered if things really hit the fan, whether I would, under pressure, turn round and say a few Hail Marys and say 'Get me out of here'. It never once occurred to me. It meant that I really don't believe and I really do think that when you die, you die, that's it, there's no afterlife."

The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers maintains a list of over 200 of its members who choose to publicly show their service and to show that there are atheists in foxholes, on ships, and in planes.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison, Wisconsin, based organization, has erected a monument to "Atheists in Foxholes" because of its opposition to the statement of "no atheists in foxholes." The monument reads
Quote:

In memory of ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES and the countless FREETHINKERS who have served this country with honor and distinction.

Presented by the national Freedom From Religion Foundation with hope that in the future humankind may learn to avoid all war.”


The argument that war makes some people STOP believing in a god, or question their belief, would be a better argument against people “coming to God” because of danger, because I don’t think it has been or can be debunked that some people turn to a god in times of crisis who previously considered themselves atheists.

On a personal note, finding buddhism has given me a wonderful sense of PEACE, not freedom. That, to me, expresses part of my argument against organized religion...the sense of freedom it gives some is the sense that they’re no longer responsible, that a god will take care of them, judge them, tell them what’s right and wrong, and it excuses far too many from feeling responsible for their words and actions. On the other hand, for ME (just speaking for me), buddhism so parallels my own beliefs that it has given me a sense of peace, having found people who have had more experience than I and written things I find pertinent to help me travel further down that road. Not sermons or rules or instructions, just ideas and suggestions and the knowledge that I can agree or disagree, yet at the very bottom am responsible for trying to know myself and grow.

To my view, growth is circumscribed to an extent by organized religion insofar as it TELLS you what’s what, what to believe, and how to act. Even worse, for me, is that in every religion, the aspect is included that it is the “only true religion”, which allows some people to feel superior and others to feel safe, no matter what. Catholicism in particular allows you to repent on your deathbed and God will absolve you of everything; to me that concept is horrific.

Certainly religion has been good and bad, depending on the person. Anything that encourages people to be kind, compassionate, etc., and gives them solace is good and I admire those who are “true (whatever)s”; unfortunately I don’t think that is the majority of people who follow religions. Too often it is more divisive than inclusive, and the insanity of the huge gulf between Christians, Jews and Muslims (as well as the prejudice it encourages), given their origins, is a perfect example of how religion can be BAD, in my view.

I guess you could say that I'm really happy anyone finds something to believe in, as long as they don't use it to harm anyone else.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:10 AM

HARDWARE


Well, I never said there were no atheists in foxholes. I just said atheists were thin on the ground. I believe someone else put the foxhole phrase in my mouth.

And war causing some people to lose their religion or question the existence of God. Well, even Jesus had his moment of doubt.

To clarify my views on religion; my religion, my faith is in God. Not with men or women who purport to know the mind of God or claim to be the voice of God on earth. I don't need an intermediary to talk to God. I carry my religion, my faith in me, wherever I go. My religion does not have a Hell. I am already forgiven my sins. But I will be called to account for my actions in the next life. I have freedom to choose how I act. It is an awesome and terrible freedom, but I've hammered out my morals and do not fear the accounting as long as I don't lose sight of my moral north star.

The organization of religion being of little merit can best be documented by a book called "Dungeon Fire and Sword". It is the story of the Knights Templar. Well worth reading and remembering. I have no fear of losing my way in the moral wilderness as long as I don't follow another man's path blindly.

And yes, Shepherd Book's words to Mal are very appropriate.


The more I get to know people the more I like my dogs.

...and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36

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