The spread of religion or science….
Posted: 20 September 2007 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This is something that I have done a lot of thinking about over the course of a few years and after talking with many people.  Years ago, when I first heard that the Catholics had banned birth control I thought, “How strange, surely there are *no* calls on that one in the Bible”.  Then my husband and I were over in England and we stayed with a delightful friend of the family who is Jewish.  In one of our many marathon length conversations she mentions that she is terribly unhappy that the Israeli government is actively encouraging their population to have many children.

Ditto in fundamentalist Christianity.

That clip on another thread of the child reciting Psalm 23 just reinforces my belief:  you really do pass on your beliefs to your children.  So if I have 1 or 2 or no children…then my belief system will be limited to them.  Yes, you can plant the seeds of new or different ideas in other people’s minds but the ones you have the *most* control over are the people you create or…educate.

Now think about how many scientist, mathematicians, economists etc. you know that have multiple (3+) children.  I find it hard to think of any.  What I have witnessed and the stats I have read correlates higher IQs with fewer children.

So my church down the street actively preaches having many children, no birth control and we go there every Sunday to have that theology reinforced.  We talk with people who are like-minded and form social groups based on that.  Look at every family on those wonky TLC shows with women having upwards of 16 children :O They all have a common religion.

So my mom had the right idea with by having 6 kids.  She passed her IQ on to most of us and raised us to question…always.

In secular countries populations are tumbling….but look who is having the most children….

So are we destined to tumble back into a highly dogmatic religious era, or are already sliding down that slippery slope?

Anne

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Posted: 20 September 2007 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Your concern is valid, TS, however, there are other factors to consider.  First, just about everyone was religious to the level of fundamentalism a few centuries back.  With the rise of literacy and science, more people were exposed to the ideas of philosophy and the discoveries of science.  As children from religious homes learn about reason and science in school, some of them will modify their beliefs.  Second, better nutrition has contributed to a rise in general IQ.  Although this may seem science-fictiony, I believe that it won’t be too long before parents will be able to have the genes in their sperm and ova modified so the kids will have new traits.  Unfortunately, there will be many who want beautiful athletes, but there will also be many parents who will ask to have genes for more efficient mental functioning included in their offspring. 

A few years back I was a youth advisor to a Unitarian teen group.  They had great discussions among themselves.  I sometimes would start it by asking a question, but I always kept ouf to their arguments.  I did, however, give them some stuff like my list of seventy Critical Thinking Fallacies with examples.  I pointed out at the end of the paper that they should recognize that the author probably showed his bias in the examples and they should try to think of others.  Of course, many of the examples were chosen to show religious errors.  A few years later when the group had graduated from local high schools and were getting ready to go off to college, the minister had them each give a short statement of what his/her beliefs were now that they were entering the adult world.  I was delighted that three of the fifteen said they were agnostics, two considered themselved deists, and ten said they decided that atheism made the most sense to them. 

Unfortunately, the Unitarian denomination has been taken over by the Universalists and have become very liberal theists.  -  I left.

Occam

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