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Replacing/eliminating religion?
Posted: 05 January 2011 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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” Religion affects development in profound ways.  Indirectly, it shapes cultural norms (about things like education, social class structure, social authority, gender roles, etc.) and individual beliefs and behaviors (work ethic, corruption, risk-tolerance optimism,etc.) that in turn create the economic context of society.  Directly, many non-governmental development agencies - including some of the largest and most experienced - are religiously affiliated and faith motivated.”
                                                    Dennis R. Hoover - Dir. of the Center on Faith & International Affairs
                                                    The Review of Faith and International Affairas Vol 8 #4 Winter 2010

This leads to three questions:
 
1.) Is Hoover correct?

2.) If Hoover is correct and we non-believers are tring to eliminate religious influence in society, what needs to be done for non-religious culture to be developed to fulfill these functions.? 

3.) How can we ensure that whatever mimes we non-religious build is not subject to the same failures and weaknesses as religion has?  I don’t see our elected officals and current bureaucrats being much better than the priests of religions.

People lets try to be fair-minded and recognize both the positive as well as the negative contributions of religions.  I’m concerned that we, in not recognizing the positive contributions of religions to society, are proposing throwing out a very valuable tool in human culture without any thought being given to how to replace its multide of functions.  And we humans may be individuals but we are also members of many groups and it is at the group level that religion works.

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Posted: 05 January 2011 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think secularism is too focused on the intellectual.  Going to a, for instance, contemporary pentecostal church on Sunday is fun, the music is great, and it’s an uplifting emotional experience.  There’s great fellowship, and sometimes a little apologetics thrown in their for good measure.  It appeals to your whole being.  For a lot of the secularists that I know, they don’t think about religion and have no interest in grouping together with others to enact social change.  They find lecures and forums boring.  It’s too much like work.  Singing along at church is fun and you get to live forever (lol).  STEP ONE: SEXY SECULARISTS (Robert M. Price looks like Santa Claus)

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Posted: 05 January 2011 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t know what secularist you are describing, John, but it sure as hell isn’t me.  In the fourth sentence I’d appreciate it if you replaced the “your” with “my”.  I do work with others in secular environements to enact social change.  I do go to lectures and forums because I find them stimulating.  I’d love to sing along with folk songs, but hymns are not fun but rather, nauseating to me.  And, I don’t have any desire to make myself believe in silly fairytales like being immortal.

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Posted: 05 January 2011 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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How about a church for the nonreligious to congregate weekly to rock out and share science articles smile

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Posted: 05 January 2011 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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T think theists are too focused on fantasy. Going to a music festival is fun; the music is great and it is an uplifting emotional experience. There is great fellowship (dominoes until dawn), with cigars and tequila thrown in for good measure. It appeals to your whole being. For a lot of the theists I know, they don’t think of parities and they have no interest in skinny dipping. They find science and philosophy boring. It’s too much like work. Going to music festivals is fun, and you get to enjoy life.

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Posted: 06 January 2011 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I recall some great person’s quote:

If we managed to eliminate all religions
people would invent a new one the next day

.... or something like that

and thinking about the tea party and evangelical crowd it makes all the sense in the world.

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Posted: 06 January 2011 01:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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john76 - 05 January 2011 04:40 PM

I think secularism is too focused on the intellectual.  Going to a, for instance, contemporary pentecostal church on Sunday is fun, the music is great, and it’s an uplifting emotional experience.  There’s great fellowship, and sometimes a little apologetics thrown in their for good measure.  It appeals to your whole being.  For a lot of the secularists that I know, they don’t think about religion and have no interest in grouping together with others to enact social change.  They find lecures and forums boring.  It’s too much like work.  Singing along at church is fun and you get to live forever (lol).  STEP ONE: SEXY SECULARISTS (Robert M. Price looks like Santa Claus)

No, thank you. Much as I enjoy playing with snakes—pentacostals DO handle poisonous snakes, don’t they? I would rather my snakes be the non-poisonous kind.  I can go up the hill from my house to find some to play with, it is much more fun that way! Phantasies of immortality hold no appeal to me either, and I can’t carry a tune. grin

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Posted: 07 January 2011 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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john76 - 05 January 2011 04:40 PM

I think secularism is too focused on the intellectual.  Going to a, for instance, contemporary pentecostal church on Sunday is fun, the music is great, and it’s an uplifting emotional experience.  There’s great fellowship, and sometimes a little apologetics thrown in their for good measure.  It appeals to your whole being.  For a lot of the secularists that I know, they don’t think about religion and have no interest in grouping together with others to enact social change.  They find lecures and forums boring.  It’s too much like work.  Singing along at church is fun and you get to live forever (lol).  STEP ONE: SEXY SECULARISTS (Robert M. Price looks like Santa Claus)

The evangicals are being highly successful particularly in South America and Africa.  It seems they help people adopt to modern society.  By creating “an autonomous social space within which people may participate in the creatin of a differnet kind nof sub-society . . . those who count for little or nothiong in the wider world find themselves addressed as persons able able to display initiative and to be of consequence.” - David Martin.  Also in areas where govenment is weak or nonexistent they can provide a source of security, justice and support for the poor.  I strongly believe until we secularists can create these types of organizations (and not just single purpose organizations) we will remain nothing more than a small minority of individuals not rellay worth bothering about.  By our own Darwinian lights we are losing the battle of reproduction amd IMO our lack of social networks contributes strongly to this.  As Hillary Clinton states “It takes a village.”

I tend to agree that secularism is too focused on the intellectual.  In general, it tends to ignore the emotional and the need to build the every day, long lasting social group, that are the basis for any society.  (too many village athiests, not enough organizers.)

A couple of side notes;  a musician friend of mine has told me that the structure of celtic music and the blues that derived in part from it, is a result of one of the Popes (Gregory I think)  ruled against a certain music structure. He is supposed to give me more detail on this point.  Also I read a couple of weeks ago that the reason pews were first put in the mideval cathedrals was not for seating the congregation, but to stop them from dancing.

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Posted: 07 January 2011 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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[quote author=“asanta” date=“1294321182”
No, thank you. Much as I enjoy playing with snakes—pentacostals DO handle poisonous snakes, don’t they? I would rather my snakes be the non-poisonous kind.  I can go up the hill from my house to find some to play with, it is much more fun that way! Phantasies of immortality hold no appeal to me either, and I can’t carry a tune. grin

Asanta.

I can’t carry a tune either, so when I go out to open mikes (two or three a week) I am the photographer and keep my mouth shut. red face

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Posted: 07 January 2011 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hey Gary.  I think our advertisement campaigns could stand to be a little more specific too.  Slogans like “God probably doesn’t exist, so enjoy your life” really doesn’t get to the heart of how much (to use the phrase of Al Pacino’s character in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ movie) of an absentee landlord God really is.  I would go with something like “Does God really love you?” and have a picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim on a poster.  People don’t seem to get that there are only three choices: either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is Evil.  I think that would make a cool poster on the highway: (1)The title “Does God Really Love You?” (2)A picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim (3)And at the bottom of the poster “Either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is evil”

[ Edited: 07 January 2011 04:13 PM by john76 ]
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Posted: 07 January 2011 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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john76 - 07 January 2011 04:11 PM

Hey Gary.  I think our advertisement campaigns could stand to be a little more specific too.  Slogans like “God probably doesn’t exist, so enjoy your life” really doesn’t get to the heart of how much (to use the phrase of Al Pacino’s character in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ movie) of an absentee landlord God really is.  I would go with something like “Does God really love you?” and have a picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim on a poster.  People don’t seem to get that there are only three choices: either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is Evil.  I think that would make a cool poster on the highway: (1)The title “Does God Really Love You?” (2)A picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim (3)And at the bottom of the poster “Either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is evil”

I can see a theist drive by the sign and, with a sigh of derision, proclaim, “these fools just don’t recognize that God works in mysterious ways and it is not up to us to question His motives”.

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Posted: 08 January 2011 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Of course your right.  Some people are theist-fundamentalist and that’s all they’ll ever be.  I just think it might be nice to supplement the old posters with some that appeal to the emotions and the heartstrings as well as the head - it’s good psychology and advertising.  I know it wouldn’t work on everyone, but it should work on some people.  If anti-God ads were visually and rhetorically more like anti-abortion ads they might get people talking and questioning more.  The anti-abortion lobby has known for decades the value of applying psychological principles in advertising and the media generally does is all the time.  I just think a nice visual, simply worded poster would be better than just words like: “Three year old cancer victims exclude the possibility of there being a loving, caring, personal God who watches over us and has a plan for our life.  Allowing a three year old to be born, suffer, and die in a few years isn’t Love.” 

Best case scenario for theists, God is an absentee landlord, and we need to get the word out in a nationwide advertising campaign.  At least that’s my take on it if the organization wants to experience significant growth.  I think secularists need to step up on the advertisements if we are going to grow as an organizaion.  I know I disagree with a lot of people on this forum about the difference between atheism and agnosticism, but I’ve tried prayer enough times in my life to know that if there is a God, he either doesn’t care, or he’s laughing at me.  Either way, we will never have a mature and wise society until we start behaving as though there is no God, whether there is one or not.

[ Edited: 08 January 2011 04:52 AM by john76 ]
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Posted: 08 January 2011 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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john76 - 07 January 2011 04:11 PM

Hey Gary.  I think our advertisement campaigns could stand to be a little more specific too.  Slogans like “God probably doesn’t exist, so enjoy your life” really doesn’t get to the heart of how much (to use the phrase of Al Pacino’s character in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ movie) of an absentee landlord God really is.  I would go with something like “Does God really love you?” and have a picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim on a poster.  People don’t seem to get that there are only three choices: either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is Evil.  I think that would make a cool poster on the highway: (1)The title “Does God Really Love You?” (2)A picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim (3)And at the bottom of the poster “Either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is evil”

I don’t think that would work.  Too negative. Advertising campaigns work best when the emphasis is on the postive.  IMO, it would be better to come up with a campaign that promotes the benefits of building and belonging to a secular community, where we are resonsible for helping each other and don’t depend upon non-existent entites for authority.  Politicaly I think ignoring any of gods is better than attacking them.  I was given a T-shirt when I first became active in CFI that reads “Are you ethical, but not religious.  We’re here for you.” and gives the local phone number.  I think that an advertising campaign along these lines is more effective than a direct attack on any “big daddy in the sky.”

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Posted: 08 January 2011 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I don’t think anyone pays attention to ‘lighter’ adds.  I know secularists put up one at the entrance to a tunnel that said “God probably doesn’t exist, so enjoy your life,” and Christians just put another one up at the other end of the tunnel that said “God probably exists, so enjoy your life.”  I think it was in Canada

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Posted: 08 January 2011 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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garythehuman - 08 January 2011 11:10 AM
john76 - 07 January 2011 04:11 PM

Hey Gary.  I think our advertisement campaigns could stand to be a little more specific too.  Slogans like “God probably doesn’t exist, so enjoy your life” really doesn’t get to the heart of how much (to use the phrase of Al Pacino’s character in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ movie) of an absentee landlord God really is.  I would go with something like “Does God really love you?” and have a picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim on a poster.  People don’t seem to get that there are only three choices: either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is Evil.  I think that would make a cool poster on the highway: (1)The title “Does God Really Love You?” (2)A picture of a three year old cancer victim and a hurricane victim (3)And at the bottom of the poster “Either God doesn’t exist; or God is incompetent; or God is evil”

I don’t think that would work.  Too negative. Advertising campaigns work best when the emphasis is on the postive.  IMO, it would be better to come up with a campaign that promotes the benefits of building and belonging to a secular community, where we are resonsible for helping each other and don’t depend upon non-existent entites for authority.  Politicaly I think ignoring any of gods is better than attacking them.  I was given a T-shirt when I first became active in CFI that reads “Are you ethical, but not religious.  We’re here for you.” and gives the local phone number.  I think that an advertising campaign along these lines is more effective than a direct attack on any “big daddy in the sky.”

How about: “If you want true democracy and freedom, apply the “golden rule”.

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Posted: 08 January 2011 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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How about “God must be a dog because missionaries spend all their time cleaning up his mess.”

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