Insulting Religion

Discussion in 'Religion' started by (Q), Nov 18, 2013.

  1. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Why would you need numbers from me? Obviously, you are all over the numbers, especially when your numbers are off, evidently.

    Are there a lot a of believers in the world? Sure, there always has been. But, there has never been such a large amount of people who are rejecting myths and superstitions as a worldview, and that number will grow over time and soon enough, those myths and superstitions will be understood as such by the vast majority.

    Do you think more and more people aren't getting educated? More are, as information and learning are easy to access on the internet and getting cheaper as a result. Information is getting everywhere now, information is knowledge and knowledge is power, the power to reason and rationalize, and to unshackle people from the stranglehold of wishful and magical thinking.

    You are a dinosaur, destined for extinction. Deal with it.
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You don't trust the Pew polls?

    I'm not as confident about that as you are. Consider the billions of people in China and India alone, for example. I think myths and superstitions will be with us for a long time to come. Even in the United States, where citizens have access to more information that ever before, the vast majority of the people has not rejected the idea of God, let alone other superstitions, let alone vague notions of "spirituality" and the supernatural.

    I don't think that Syne will have any worries during his lifetime. The US will still be full of religious people 100 years from now.
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  5. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Ah, so just more unsupported bare assertions, i.e. no refute.

    Recent polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 96% of the public says they believe in God or some form of Supreme Being, roughly the same number as in a 1965 survey cited in the Time piece [“Is God Dead?”]. -

    So aside from the fact that affiliation to organized religion is waning, what do you have to support your faith that "believers" are somehow going extinct? You see, this is where you conflating belief in a god with religion fails you. Or perhaps it simply serves your cognitive bias, as it allows you to believe that the waning of one MUST mean the waning of the other. That is merely wishful thinking. The above statistics also poor cold water all over the notion that atheism is on a steep increase, and shows that the "rising" atheism numbers are deceptively inflated by including the unaffiliated "believers". So just another reason why you are so desperate to conflate the two.

    Looking at the trends, it is much more likely that the internet allows "believers" to both find mutual reinforcement (in lieu of going to church, as attendance numbers drop) as well as possibly learning the artificiality of past religious divisions (contributing to less specific religious affiliation).

    And more likely, under the onslaught of atheist criticism, the reasons for belief in a god will only become more refined. The ubiquity of information also serves to educate people that science and secularism cannot provide meaning in life.
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  7. Mazulu Banned Banned

    Impressive. Belief in God is probably being fueled by all those near death experiences.
  8. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    His original numbers that he pulled out of his ass were off, then he went and found numbers from Pew polls.

    Considering the internet has only been around for a few decades and is gaining access to those countries recently, it will take a little bit more time, most likely some generations, perhaps a least 3 or 4 hundred years.

    But, nowhere near as full as it is now.

    Dawkins did a follow up poll to the recent census in Britain in which a few extra questions were asked about the persons religion. It was found that those who ticked the box that said "Christian", 45% of those answered thought Christianity was just being a good person. In other words, they didn't follow the religion, didn't read the bible, didn't go to church, didn't practice any of the rituals or believed Jesus even existed as proclaimed in the Bible, they just assumed that's what being a Christian was all about.
  9. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Refute to what? Your original claims of those made up numbers was already refuted and you already admitted it.

    From the link:

    "For although religious faith and observance certainly have declined sharply in Europe"

    Notice that religions are failing in one large part of the world already? Is that any kind of refutation?

    Continued from the link:

    "The number of Americans who think of themselves as “secular” has grown noticeably in the past 40 years. According to the General Social Survey (GSS), which has been asking Americans about their religious preferences since 1972, the number of those expressing no religious preference has doubled, from just under 7% in the 1970s to just over 14% at the beginning of the 21st century.

    Don't you think these numbers are significant? The amount of non-believers "doubling" in just a couple decades? Is this a refutation?

    More from the link:

    According to Pew polling, more than half of Americans say they attend religious services at least once a month, and about four-in-ten report doing so at least once a week.

    It appears only about half the people actually attend church. What are the other half doing? Watching football, perhaps? Can we conclude they are not actually following any kind of religion and perhaps are only saying they believe in a god in order to escape the retribution and hatred they'll receive from other believers?

    So, let's return once more to the link to see how educated these folks are, or are they just idiots?

    Consider, for instance, the public’s views on the theory of evolution outlined by Charles Darwin nearly 150 years ago. Pew polling from 2005 indicates that 42% of the public basically accepts the creationist account of the origins of life, compared with 26% who can be described as Darwinian evolutionists. And fully 60% of Americans (including creationists and those who believe that life has evolved over time through a process guided by a Supreme Being) see an active and creative higher power behind the origins and development of human life.

    Yup, they're just idiots.

    Uh, the very article YOU supplied would indicate "believers" are going extinct.

    Atheism doubling in a couple of decades is pouring cold water over your beliefs.

    There is nothing indicating that at all.

    Not if the "doubling" trend continues, which it will.

    Religion does not provide meaning in life, it provides enslavement, ignorance and penchant for shunning education, as can easily be seen by the number of idiots who reject evolution and embrace creationism.
  10. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Speaking of numbers, Cheezle provided this video in another thread, relevant to the discussion...
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I showed you where those numbers came from.

    But I also gave you statistics proving that there is an overlap of the non-religious and belief in a god, which was my initial point.

    So you have yet to refute my initial point, and you have yet to provide ANY supporting evidence that "belief in god" is synonymous with "religion" or "being religious".

    Yeah, that whole quote is:
    For although religious faith and observance certainly have declined sharply in Europe, belief in God as well as attendance at religious services have remained strong in the United States and much of the rest of the world. -

    A brief survey of the least theistic countries in Europe gives some indication of why. The least theistic have had state religions/churches and one quasi-state religion. The notable exceptions in the top 7 least theistic is Estonia:
    Many Estonians profess not to be particularly religious, because religion through the 19th century was associated with German feudal rule. -
    And Germany:
    The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history. The war was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most of the countries of Europe. The war was fought largely as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. -

    So religion has been actively promoted by many of those governments and associated with at least one regional war. So the European numbers are both not surprising and also not generally indicative without a similar history.

    And? Again, "secular" does not preclude "belief in god", only specific religious affiliation. I have already shown that US belief in a god has not waned.

    Again, you conflate "non-believers" (supposedly in a god) with "secular" and "atheist", even though the numbers you give only address religious affiliation. Your cognitive bias hard at work.

    Does not matter what you would like to conclude, as church attendance is not equivalent to belief in a god. Or are you trying to claim that all Sunday football fans who do not go to church are de facto atheists? That is patently absurd.

    Numbers are numbers, self-reported by both theist and atheist alike. Questioning motive (more on this below) is only special pleading because the raw numbers do not say what you would like them to.

    Non sequitur. And again you omitted the opening line of that paragraph:
    But recent Pew polling suggests that when science and religion collide, it may be religion that emerges victorious.

    Which again belies your assertion that religion is going extinct, even with more information. (And again, more on motives below.)

    Uh, where? So far your ONLY argument for "believers" going extinct is the tangential fact that religious affiliation is declining. So? Again, just goes to prove why you have such a vested, personal interest in conflating belief in a god with not only religion in general but with religious attendance and affiliation specifically.

    Just wishful thinking.

    Aww, is all you have is a bare assertion? Where are the numbers? You know, numbers that do not co-opt the non-religious who believe in a god as if they were de facto atheists.

    Your attentional bias to quell cognitive dissonance hard at work. Still no numbers?

    What doubling? Remember, you scoffed at numbers which clearly showed that people do not always know what atheism is (since some of those included a self-reported belief in god).

    To those who espouse it, religion definitely does provide meaning in life. Just because you are too myopic to see past your own personal opinions does not make those opinions factual. And deists typically embrace evolution (as well as some theists, as you quoted), but you are too busy trying to bash everyone who beliefs in a god to ever co-opt them to your cause.

    From one of the studies mentioned:
    In Study 1 we examined how task importance affected con- formity behavior. We had hypothesized that increasing task importance would have opposite effects on conformity on easy versus difficult tasks. We predicted that on the low-difficulty task, an increase in task importance would lower conformity, whereas on the difficult task increasing task importance would heighten conformity. These hypotheses were generally supported by the data. - BaronVandello&Brunsman - Forgotten variable in conformity research​

    IOW, on more difficult tasks (where uncertainty was higher), subjects relied on consensus more, in proportion to the importance, and on easy tasks (low uncertainty) resisted conformity more with increased importance. And? What about this is unexpected? When in doubt and the importance is high, you naturally seek corroboration. When certain about important matters, corroboration is moot.

    Like I already cited, 80% of people strongly (with certainty) believe in a god, so these are the people less likely to conform due to informational influence. The video seems to make the erroneous assumption that theists would find the existence of god as "not very obvious" as atheists.
  12. Mazulu Banned Banned

    ATTENTION: Cheezle and Q,
    I was wrong. There are near death experiences involving hell and flames. Sorry about that.

  13. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

    The only thing I will say about this video is that it has a high bias factor. It is a religious program. The guy who supposedly went to hell and back talks like a preacher. You can tell from the way he speaks he has told a few tall tales in his day.

    But let's talk about the other experience. Going to heaven in a NDE. Many people evidently report this experience. But this is directly contradicted by the Bible. Not surprising given that the Bible is full of contradictions. For instance, in John 3: "And no man has gone up to Heaven except he who went down from Heaven: The Son of Man - he who is in Heaven." In fact, John tells us that Jesus said that the dead are "asleep". And they are are supposed to stay that way until Jesus returns on Judgement Day. So if the Bible says no one has been to Heaven except Jesus, then the NDE of Heaven must be only a vision of heaven. I would prefer to use the word hallucination rather than vision.

    The Bible is also interesting in the way it does not talk about NDEs. From the way you talk, this is a common occurrence with deep mystical overtones. And yet the Bible does not specifically mention it. Lazarus was dead and came back and said nothing about the trip. Of course Jesus said he had only fallen asleep. Some other religions do have detailed descriptions of what happens after death, such as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Judaism and Christianity don't. In fact it seems to avoid this very important subject.

    I have to say that you are a typical Bible thumper. You talk about the Bible at great lengths, but I seriously doubt you have ever really read, let alone studied it. Oh wait, you were trained by the Ascended Masters and so don't need to read it. You are too wise to even bother.
  14. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    Good for him. He's had those experiences, and they are relevant for him. That doesn't have any bearing on others' beliefs and experiences. It's that man's personal feelings and perceptions of events that happened to him. My experiences of the gods are not necessarily relevant to others' beliefs and lives; other people have not had those same experiences, and I do not expect them to believe what I do about them. The same principle works for his experiences, for your experiences, for anyone's experiences.
  15. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

    The purpose of that video is to convince people that his experience of Hell was real and that everyone will experience exactly what he did if they don't repent and accept Jesus as their Savior. It was a religious TV show. Strange that you failed to grasp that.
  16. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Which in turn are fueled by belief in god. It's a rather impressive circle jerk.
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    96% belief in God seems awfully high.

    The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey polled residents of the United States on this question and their results were:

    Regarding the existence of God, do you think...

    There is no such thing -- 2.3%

    There is no way to know -- 4.3%

    I'm not sure -- 5.7%

    There is a higher power but no personal God -- 12.1%

    There is definitely a personal God -- 69.5%

    Refused to answer -- 6.1%

    So according to ARIS, 10.0% of the American public seem to have either strong or weak agnostic ideas. When combined with the more convinced atheists, the total is 12.3%.

    The most interesting group to me is the 12.1% who say that they think that there is a higher power, but no personal God.

    I remember one of my relatives, a very secular professional engineer, once saying that anyone who didn't believe in God was stupid. That surprised me, coming from him, so I asked him what the word 'God' meant to him. And he waved his arm and said, "there has to be be more to reality than this". Further questions revealed that he wasn't talking about a Yahweh-style personality in the sky or anything, but instead was using the word 'God' as a synonym for 'transcendence'.

    I suspect that a lot of people do that, especially here in the United States. I once saw poll results from Denmark that showed that a significantly smaller percentage of Danes than Americans say that they believe in God. But when a 'higher power' question was added, the percentage of Danes who believe in a higher power or in God was close to Americans' combined total. Apparently in both countries about 80% of the population has some belief in the 'transcendent', for want of a better word. But there seem to be cultural variations on whether people use the word 'God' to refer to it.

    It's interesting that the impersonal 'higher power' group is consistent with atheism and agnosticism as well as with nominal belief in God. Belief that there isn't any personal God can be said to be definitive of 'atheism', after all. I think that many atheists and agnostics would agree that human beings aren't likely to be the absolute pinnacle of reality, and that there may be 'higher' beings out there somewhere. (Leaving the precise meaning of the word 'higher' open. The atheists and agnostics would define it as 'more advanced' or perhaps even 'more ontologically real', as opposed to 'divine' or 'sacred' or 'holy' in a religious sense.) Many atheists and (perhaps especially) agnostics suspect that there might be more fundamental levels of reality in than those that manifest themselves in our daily lives.
  18. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    And I am denying their point. Both the show's and Mazulu's.

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