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Psychology Today article about secularism
Posted: 13 September 2011 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Posted: 13 September 2011 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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As always, people need to understand the difference between religious label and religiosity. Contrary to what the article claims, we know from twin studies—the only (!) available tool to empirically measure the impact of nature and nurture on our behaviour—that environment has a big influence on our religious label but not on our religiosity.

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Posted: 13 September 2011 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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George - 13 September 2011 08:08 AM

As always, people need to understand the difference between religious label and religiosity. Contrary to what the article claims, we know from twin studies—the only (!) available tool to empirically measure the impact of nature and nurture on our behaviour—that environment has a big influence on our religious label but not on our religiosity.

That may be. What I take from the article is that more people are willing to feign religiosity when it is socially unacceptable not to. I think there is quite a difference between religiosity feigned and religiosity truly believed. Look at the several here who are afraid to be “outed.” They have to feign religiosity in the sense that they must hide their true feelings (at least they feel that they must).

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Posted: 13 September 2011 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sure, but the article also says that, “Whereas a thirteenth-century Dawkins would most likely have been a theist, a thirteenth-century Elton John no doubt still would have been gay.” I don’t think that’s necessarily true. He would almost certainly be a Christian by name, but he would probably feel as unsatisfied with the religious pearls of wisdoms seven hundred years ago as he does today.

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Posted: 13 September 2011 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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George - 13 September 2011 09:46 AM

Sure, but the article also says that, “Whereas a thirteenth-century Dawkins would most likely have been a theist, a thirteenth-century Elton John no doubt still would have been gay.” I don’t think that’s necessarily true. He would almost certainly be a Christian by name, but he would probably feel as unsatisfied with the religious pearls of wisdoms seven hundred years ago as he does today.

But in being Christian by name, he would be feigning his religion. In today’s environment, he feels free not to do that. I agree that internally he would in fact have the same level of religiosity in either time period. But the environment makes the difference as to how open he might be with his feelings.

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Posted: 13 September 2011 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Again, I agree with everything you say here. But what you’re saying is not the same thing as what the article said.

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Posted: 13 September 2011 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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George - 13 September 2011 11:20 AM

Again, I agree with everything you say here. But what you’re saying is not the same thing as what the article said.

I reread it. You’re right, he is saying that Dawkins would have been a theist, not just pretended to be one. He seems to contradict himself. It’s not a choice, but Dawkins would have been a theist in the 13th century? Bah.

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Posted: 13 September 2011 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Maybe a 13th century Dawkins *might* have been a nominal theist because the science wasn’t advanced enough to support ideas like biological evolution.  He’d most likely be a very doubtful theist, tho.

It’s all just speculation anyway.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Whether or not Richard Dawkins would be a theist in the 13th century is irrelevant. Richard Dawkins would not be Richard Dawkins if he weren’t the person he is today. It’s a silly statement.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Moreover, if the 21st Century Richard Dawkins lived n the 1200’s he would have been blamed for a plague and burned at the stake. You can’t equate then with now. It just dosen’t work because the 13th Century parameters don’t apply to our 21st Century analysis. I do agree with the article somewhat but am unconfortable with the idea of lack of choice. You might, for instance behave one way in a city and another in a rural area. And the 13th Century was mostly rural. You might be able to get away with blasphemy in a less populated area than in one where your religiosity was constantly in question. I think that the article was a little too general in its conclusion. Food for thought though. What if you were both gay and an athiest?  Then you were really doomed!

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Posted: 14 September 2011 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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thevillageathiest - 14 September 2011 04:30 AM

You might, for instance behave one way in a city and another in a rural area. And the 13th Century was mostly rural.

I behave the same way everywhere (well, except for this forum; in the real life I am actually much nicer guy grin ). I would reverse it: people who are religious tend to live in villages. It’s genes building culture, not the other way around.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Right you are George, by today’s standards. I live in a village by the way and I’m a nice guy and an avowed athiest. My point was that in the 13th Century you may pull it off because their are fewer restrictions in a smaller areas. The genetic thing I’m not to sure about though. I’m uneasy buying into a religious gene. I’m more of a nurture over nature person. Not to say that there are born sociopaths. Oh yeah, and I quit smoking in the 80’s (5 packs a day) because my doc said that if I didn’t then I would croak. So I quit. Now I overeat chocolate. Blast!

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Posted: 14 September 2011 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Five packs a day? I don’t believe it. If you were awake 17 hours a day, you smoked a cigarette every 10 minutes. Now, since it takes a few minutes to actually smoke a cigarette, and you had to eat and do other things in between, you had to be smoking literally ALL THE TIME! I find that very hard to believe.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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George - 14 September 2011 08:06 AM

Five packs a day? I don’t believe it. If you were awake 17 hours a day, you smoked a cigarette every 10 minutes. Now, since it takes a few minutes to actually smoke a cigarette, and you had to eat and do other things in between, you had to be smoking literally ALL THE TIME! I find that very hard to believe.

His friends bummed a lot of cigs off of him.  wink

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Posted: 14 September 2011 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I got up in the morning, lit one and chained smoked throughout the day. I worked for the government then and in our office we had immense ashtrays that we dumped on the hour. We smoked after work and on into the night. I smoked on weekends and in the car. I smoked at grocery stores. I smoked until I could hardly breathe. Cigs then were 37 cents a pack. We bought cases of cartons. I swear to… Zeus that I smoked 5 a day for about a year and a half. The I cut down to two. Oh, and we also swilled Billy Beer. It was cheap too.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 14 September 2011 02:15 AM

Whether or not Richard Dawkins would be a theist in the 13th century is irrelevant. Richard Dawkins would not be Richard Dawkins if he weren’t the person he is today. It’s a silly statement.

Of course, in the 13th century he probably would have been burnt at the stake.

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