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Religion Is Abomination
Posted: 16 May 2012 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Aristopus - I get the underlying sentiment you’re trying to express.  The way I express it, when I express it, is “religion is the root of most evil”.  Much of western culture is rooted in Christianity, so much so that most people don’t even realize it, and the damage it’s done.  And you’ll always run up against folks like George who will use the old “it’s not religion that’s bad, it’s the people who use it for bad purposes.”  Folks like that, and almost all religious folks will never respond to reasoning and writing, etc.  It’s an emotional, psychological dependence they have.  I realized this way back in college.  I had a roommate who was the valedictorian, was being sought out for his work in economics even as an undergrad, etc.  And yet when we talked about religion you couldn’t tell him apart from the sorriest dumbass redneck you ever met.  He clung to his religion for emotional reasons, not logical ones.  And that was that.

So personally I gave up trying to convert or convince “believers” long ago.  IMHO you just have to be a good example yourself, and really rise above religion in a way, to realize if it’s what it takes for some to get by, then help them along in that regard.  The hard part too is to realize religion IS wrong in the sense that astrology is, it’s just that because there’s such an emotional aspect to it, and the world is still so barbaric, it’s just going to take many generations and technological advances before it goes the way of astrology.

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Posted: 16 May 2012 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Really? I am the one who is being irrational and “emotional” here? Care to show me how exactly religion is responsible for the overpopulation of Nigeria or the monkeys going extinct? And no, correlations won’t do.

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Posted: 16 May 2012 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The bit about human sacrifice is rather silly, you know.  Comparing the Catholic mass to the rituals of the ancient American civilizations involving the sacrifice of humans to their gods doesn’t really work, does it?  If you look carefully, you’ll notice that nobody is actually killed in the mass.  This is a distinction some would consider significant, or at least worthy of mention, in considering what, if any, similarities there may be.

The Christian ceremony has its basis in the widespread practice of ancient pagan cults prevalent in the Roman Empire of engaging in a ceremonial communal meal, by which worshippers believed they were partaking of the god, the divine.  The Catholic faith employed Aristotelian metaphysics, distinguishing the accidents/appearances of the bread and wine and their substance, altered through transubstantiation to become the body and blood of Christ.  The substance is not discernable by the senses; only the appearances are.  There is no cannabilism or human sacrifice as there is no human body involved, as is apparent even to non-believers, or should be.

The actual words used in the Latin rite are “Hoc est corpus meum” which means “This is my body,” the words used by Jesus at the Last Supper according to the Gospels.  That’s where “hocus pocus” came from.  Witty Protestants would use those words to mock the Catholic, Latin, ceremony (it’s what they thought the actual words sounded like).

If one is going to lambast a religion, one should be thoughtful, and accurate, in doing so.

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Posted: 16 May 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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ciceronianus - 16 May 2012 12:19 PM

The actual words used in the Latin rite are “Hoc est corpus meum” which means “This is my body,” the words used by Jesus at the Last Supper according to the Gospels.  That’s where “hocus pocus” came from.  Witty Protestants would use those words to mock the Catholic, Latin, ceremony (it’s what they thought the actual words sounded like).

Interesting! The things one can learn around here.  grin

If one is going to lambast a religion, one should be thoughtful, and accurate, in doing so.

Absolutely. There is enough there to legitimately criticize. We needn’t make stuff up.

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Posted: 16 May 2012 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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FreeInKy - 16 May 2012 12:23 PM

Absolutely. There is enough there to legitimately criticize. We needn’t make stuff up.

I think so, yes.  As an old altar boy, I had to learn the Latin mass, and other things, by heart.  It’s been gradually coming back from what I hear.  Well, it was in its way impressive, and being a history buff I find it interesting as a connection with the Roman Empire, much like the Church itself.

I think old, former Catholics (I’m both) have a kind of sentimental fondness for certain aspects of the Church as it was in our youth.  That’s not the case with other aspects of it, though, in my case at least.

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Posted: 16 May 2012 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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George - 16 May 2012 07:49 AM

Have you ever heard of the saying “correlation does not imply causation,” Aristopus? Nigeria is overpopulated because of religion? This is just absurd.

I’m well aware of the fallacy.  Just because two events are correlated doesn’t mean that one causes the other.  That’s pretty evident.

But I believe there’s a strong correlation here because both religions strongly believe God blesses a couple with each child they bring into the world.  Pardon my bad number on Nigeria’s population size.  I was way off.  Population is 154 million, almost double what I posted and the two main religions are Christianity and Islam, split down the middle.

Let me ask you then, being my conjecture is absurd.  Does not the line in Genesis, “be fruit and multiply,” suggest a dictum to have large families?  I can’t quote the Koran, but I’d be willing to bet that there are multiple passages ordering the same.  I once heard on TV a mullah saying the same, so I’m pretty sure it’s true.  Look at overpopulation in Islamic countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.  The rich Islamic states, however, like Qatar and the United Emirates, have family size well under 2.0.  So economic considerations are definitely a factor.  It’s definitely a combination of the two, but what would happen if the pope issued a bull encouraging family planning?  Social conditions would surely improve. 

Also consider that in Nigeria alone, over 110 individuals were hanged in 2009 solely for being gay.  Homosexuals don’t reproduce, and are hence abomination.  I admit this would be difficult to prove, but it makes sense to me.  In memetics, the memeplex that doesn’t replicate goes extinct, like a thousand religions in history.  Gays are better used as a scapegoat.

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Posted: 16 May 2012 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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The fertility of the white population in the U.S. who claims to be almost as religious as Nigeria is below the replacement rate. IOW, they are dying out. Why is that?

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Posted: 16 May 2012 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Btw, the fertility of Nigerians is declining as well, though it’s still way above the fertility replacement. The number of Christians, OTOH, is rising. How does that affect your theory?

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Posted: 17 May 2012 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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George - 16 May 2012 07:49 AM

Have you ever heard of the saying “correlation does not imply causation,” Aristopus? Nigeria is overpopulated because of religion? This is just absurd.

  Simple sayings like that miss the mark.  Studying the correlation between sets of events is the basis for determining causation in plenty of scientific fields.

Sure, if you observe A once, then B once, of course you can’t imply A caused B.  But if in 99% of the cases when you observe A you then observe B, then you’re pretty justified in saying A caused B.  Can you say for certain? No.  Might there be some unknown agent “between” A and B that’s really causing B? Sure. But in the real world a high % correlation usually serves as working truth. 

In the case of Nigeria, we could go around and ask every citizen a) what religion do you belong to, b) did your religious beliefs cause you to decide to have a baby.  Judging by the admonishments in the Bible to go forth and be fruitful, etc. most people, short of actually doing the survey I suggested, I think would guess that most Nigerians would answer a) Christian/Muslim, b) yes.  There may be other factors as well unrelated to religion but that doesn’t mean religion wasn’t a cause or the major cause.

Now if no one can site studies equivalent to my little thought survey here then both sides are really just expressing opinion, including the notion that the OP is being “absurd” in your words.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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That’s not quite true.  If B occurs 99% of the time after A, there could be a causal relationship, but it could be that both of them were caused by a third factor.  Every time they play the Trout Quintet on my local classical station, the sun has come up that morning.  You can bend the various occurrances to suggest a causal relationship, but it’s doubtful that there’s any direct correlation.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I have been under the impression that the factors that most contribute to lower fertility rates are high educational attainment and high socio-economic status. It also happens that there is an inverse relationship between higher rates in those two areas and religiosity.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Again, there is a strong correlation between lower fertility and education, but it’s far from being clear what exactly is causing what here. The funny thing is, though, that those with the very high socio-economic status often have more children than everybody else. But the very rich are an abnormality, so it makes a little difference.


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Posted: 17 May 2012 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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CuthbertJ - 17 May 2012 10:14 AM

Now if no one can site studies equivalent to my little thought survey here then both sides are really just expressing opinion, including the notion that the OP is being “absurd” in your words.

What I said on the fertility and religiosity of Nigeria and the U.S. are facts, not opinions. (If you want, I can provide the relevant sources.) It is you and Aristopus who are making stuff up.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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According to the census bureau, the cause for the decline in white population through 2050 is an increase in immigration and rising fertility rates in non-white families. The increase will be mainly due to Asian immigration. No correlation with religion here. Most Asians are either Buddhists or Confucian if religious at all.


http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/natproj.html


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Posted: 17 May 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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George - 17 May 2012 10:47 AM

Again, there is a strong correlation between lower fertility and education, but it’s far from being clear what exactly is causing what here. The funny thing is, though, that those with the very high socio-economic status often have more children than everybody else. But the very rich are an abnormality, so it makes a little difference.


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Nice picture.  I was once told that it is a Mormon belief that the number of children you have will equal the number of planets that you reign over in your afterlife.  (Romney may be motivated to become President as a training exercise for his afterlife Emperorship over several worlds.) 

But back to the thread topic, it seems to me that both extremely high socio-economic status and certain religious beliefs can promote more baby-making.  If you have extraordinary wealth, you don’t have any worries about providing for the little rugrats, so why not make more?  If God tells you to multiply like fruit, and you worship God, then….

OTOH, I expect that the most causal factor for baby-making is that we are biologically designed to be to be really horny at times.

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