Religion on the verge of extinction in many countries: math study

Religion on the verge of extinction in many countries: study
Percentage religiously unaliated versus time in four regions: (a) the autonomous Aland islands region of Finland, (b) Schwyz Canton in Switzerland, (c) Vienna Province in Austria, (d) the Netherlands. Image: arxiv.org/abs/1012.1375
(PhysOrg.com) -- A study recently released by a team from Northwestern University and the University of Arizona shows that religion and religious affiliations may be on the verge of extinction in the nine countries studied. Utilizing a mathematical model of nonlinear dynamics, the team analyzed data from censuses taken in nine different countries dating as far back as a century.

The team studied Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Netherlands because these countries had gathered census information on religious affiliations for as long as a century.

Results came back from the data analyzed that these nine countries were showing an increase in responses by individuals categorizing themselves as non-affiliated with religion. Data shows that the non-affiliation percentage in the Netherlands is 40 percent and the highest number seen was in the Czech Republic with 60 percent.

The team took those percentages and applied the nonlinear dynamics model they created, with parameters adjusted for the merits of membership in a non-religious category. The theory behind this non-affiliation increase boils down to something similar to . Groups with larger numbers and more members offer more attraction to be a part of. The bigger a group, the more members they are able to draw in.

With people perceiving a greater benefit from not being affiliated with a religion, the idea that they will draw in more people of the same belief leads to the idea of religious in the countries studied.

One of the team’s members, Daniel Abrams of Northwestern University, used a similar in 2003 to show the reasoning behind the decline in certain world languages being spoken. It shows that the decline in such languages as Welsh could be connected to the societal gain given to speaking a language such as English over the more regional Welsh language.

The paper also suggests that this basic theory could be used and applied to any social system, suggesting things such as smokers versus non-smokers. With this idea in mind, one can see a similar idea. With the laws changing worldwide to ban smokers, and the stigma placed on them, the social benefit is no longer there, leading many to quit and the draw for new smokers no longer there.

The researchers believe that by using the mathematics of dynamical systems and perturbation theory, the ability to better understand and make assumptions in human behavior will be possible.


Explore further

Religion and psychology: Can they work together?

More information: A mathematical model of social group competition with application to the growth of religious non-affiliation, arXiv:1012.1375v2 [physics.soc-ph]. arxiv.org/abs/1012.1375

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Mar 23, 2011
Reason being is because scientists have excluded religion from their theories and those same scientist proclaim their theories as being the absolute truth, thereby influencing public opinion. Once science theories begin to include religion will surveys show a different trend.

Mar 23, 2011
Once science theories begin to include religion will surveys show a different trend.


wow...

Science doesn't intentionally exclude religion. This happens organically as the core beliefs of most religions have NO scientific basis. If there was scientific evidence for God, if God qualified as a valid scientific theory to explain anything (and it doesn't, for several reasons, but primarily inherent non-falsifiability), then science would include religious beliefs... but this is not the case.

Mar 23, 2011
Science doesn't intentionally exclude religion. This happens organically as the core beliefs of most religions have NO scientific basis. If there was scientific evidence for God, if God qualified as a valid scientific theory to explain anything (and it doesn't, for several reasons, but primarily inherent non-falsifiability), then science would include religious beliefs... but this is not the case.
A little birdie has told me that is about to change. Remember the words "change" and "hope?"

Mar 23, 2011
Reason being is because scientists have excluded religion from their theories and those same scientist proclaim their theories as being the absolute truth, thereby influencing public opinion. Once science theories begin to include religion will surveys show a different trend.

And how exactly is science supposed to include religion? Science is the study of the real world, not Alice in Wonderland.

Mar 23, 2011
CHollman, thanks for providing a reasoned and considered response. I'd have been much less patient.

Tabula, theistic beliefs have failed every predictive and falsifiable experiment that they've been subject to. Religion is not taken seriously in science for exactly the same reason as flat-earth and phlogistron theories. Deal with it.


Mar 23, 2011
CHollman, thanks for providing a reasoned and considered response. I'd have been much less patient.

Be patient my fellow bloggers, be very patient indeed!

Mar 23, 2011
A little birdie has told me that is about to change.


Yeah... I wouldn't recommend anyone hold their breath waiting though, huh ;-)

Mar 23, 2011

I wonder if the same thing is happening in the US? Sure would be nice if it is.


Not to mention in the Middle East (Islam)

Mar 23, 2011
My hypothesis: The last century has seen the rise of it becoming socially acceptable to not be affiliated with a religion. This factor is probably responsible for 50%-75% of these values.

Years ago it was probably not even given as an option on census forms to have no religion. People who didn't believe in anything probably just put what their parent believed etc. Non-practicing members of religions have been around for a long time, and until recently religion was a larger piece of overall culture than it is today.

Mar 23, 2011
tabula...what birdie?...be patient for what? can you elaborate?


lol... He claims to have secret knowledge, granted to him by "the ancients", which will turn upside down all our understandings of life, the universe, and everything... He won't elaborate though, because he hasn't figured out yet how to make enough profit from it. That is, he's a crank ;-)

Mar 23, 2011
"As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the "barbaric" Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist."
The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution

As for the article, I suspect the authors did not model Muslims.

Mar 23, 2011
Religion is the root of most evil, and the sooner we rid ourselves of it, the better! BANKING ON HEAVEN . cpm

Mar 23, 2011
granted to him by "the ancients", which will turn upside down all our understandings of life, the universe, and everything...

Forty-two?

Mar 23, 2011
"As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the "barbaric" Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist."
The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution

As for the article, I suspect the authors did not model Muslims.


really, does he talk about Galileo? and how Christianity helped spread his scientific theory?

Any serious study about religion and science will show that scientific progress were made not thanks to religion but despite religion.

Mar 23, 2011
"As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the "barbaric" Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist."
The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution

As for the article, I suspect the authors did not model Muslims.


really, does he talk about Galileo? and how Christianity helped spread his scientific theory?

Any serious study about religion and science will show that scientific progress were made not thanks to religion but despite religion.


Read the book, if you dare.
What is your 'serious' study?

Mar 23, 2011
Christianity didn't spread science, just as Islam did not spread science, nor ROman religion, nor greek religion, etc.

Religions will spread knowledge as far as that knowledge isn't considered heretical to the core beliefs. Once knowledge refutes or disputes a core tenet of a belief, that belief will assault and slander that knowledge regardless of the vector. This is the problem with dogma and incredulity.

Mar 23, 2011
"Nevertheless it's impossible not to notice who led the way in medieval natural philosophy:
- A mathematician Pope at the turn of the last millennium.
- A monk in 1092 who used an astrolabe to construct the lunar calendar.
- St. Anselm and Peter Abelard, clerics who elevated the role of reason and logic in philosophy and theology.
- Cathedral school scholars who taught that "God is loving and consistent rather than capricious and arbitrary" paving the way for the study of a consistently operating world of nature.
- The universities, products of the Church.
- The church's condemnation of certain (not all) Aristotelian dogmas, which - opened the door for experimental study rather restricting natural philosophy to Aristotle's pure reasoning.
- A Polish clergyman, Copernicus, who challenged Aristotelian and Ptolemaic views of the heavens. "
James Hannam


Mar 23, 2011
"Gregor Mendel, who is known as the "father of modern genetics", was inspired by both his professors at university and his colleagues at the monastery to study variation in plants, and he conducted his study in the monastery's two hectare[7] experimental garden, which was originally planted by the abbot Napp in 1830."
Imagine, a monk the father of modern genetics. What was the religion of this monk? Catholic Christian
Here is a link to monastery: http://www.opatbr...t_en.htm

Mar 23, 2011
good news

Mar 23, 2011
Reason being is because scientists have excluded religion from their theories and those same scientist proclaim their theories as being the absolute truth, thereby influencing public opinion. Once science theories begin to include religion will surveys show a different trend.

My ghod ate your ghod a few years back...

Mar 23, 2011
TabulaMentis, Donutz: While you two are obviously on opposing sides of this and a the general religion debate. However, I would personally say that you both suffer from the same problem, which is trying to find overall unity to science and religion. When you take a stance that the two subjects are completely different, which I think they are, you don't run into this type of problem. Science is the study of the natural universe. The Christian (+Muslim, +Jewish, +Others) are a study (if you want to call it that) if the non-physical, unmeasurable qualities of our lives.

POETICO, human nature is the root of all evil, our ability to change pure into un-pure is amazing.

epsi00,Skeptic_Heretic; I haven't read this book, but maybe I will. I think your disdain for religion may have blinded you to the areas that it has actually improved things. I propose that even Romans/Greek rel. were early forms of science as people tried to understand their world, no matter far they missed the mark.

Mar 23, 2011
Not to mention in the Middle East (Islam).
That is one religion plagued with too many problems.

Tabula...what birdie?...be patient for what? can you elaborate?
No. After twenty years I am not about to give it away for free.

Mar 23, 2011
No. After twenty years I am not about to give it away for free.

How very christian of you.

Mar 23, 2011
Wow Paulie Mac, you sure showed your true colors right there.
"So?"
ryggesogn2 just gave a number of historical, correct interpretations of the fact that the Church and its followers were at least among the foundations of Science, and your response is "so". Guess you had nothing better to say to answer him.

Individuals choose their own path, and yes, many times in the past some religious individuals have seen Science as an affront to their beliefs, but so many more have seen it as a confirmation of them, including myself.

Good work ryggesogn2.

Mar 23, 2011
There were several Medieval religious institutions that promoted preserving, studying and expanding on the accumulated knowledge of the natural world of the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and the more contemporary Arabs, all for the purpose of glorifying their god, of course, who played a large role in the resurgence of literacy and the early advancement of science that marked the Renaissance and later Enlightenment.

There were many more, of course, who were devoted to the destruction of that knowledge as blasphemy against that same god and who were largely responsible for Europe's centuries of Dark Ages after the fall of Rome.

The fact that some sects of a religion preserved some knowledge, though they did not greatly add to those stores, and helped lay the foundations for science does not much help the fundamentalist's case. The first scientific position was the fundamentalist's position, that it is not now indicates how badly wrong the fundamentalist's case is, when tested.

Mar 23, 2011
Results came back from the data analyzed that these nine countries were showing an increase in responses by individuals categorizing themselves as non-affiliated with religion.

Before we all get our science and religion panties all in a bunch, what data are referred to here? A response from an unknown number of Czechs or any other of the populations suggests little, save for responding at all to researchers. And non-affiliation has less to do with behavior, lesser still, with belief.

Because you respond in the negative to an affiliation with MIT, CalTech or your 4-H Club, you dont believe in science?

Chill folks.

Mar 23, 2011
Like we needed a study to know this is happening. Humanity, for the most part, is getting smarter and able to understand the complexities of physics and biology. I.E, there doesn't need to be a GOD for complex emergence to naturally occur (duh, it has already). Darwin knew this before 1859. And now the rest of the world is catching up. If there was any actual evidence of a god or creator, creationism/religion would no longer be "supernatural" but studied as Science.

And if a GOD were ever to be proven, it would likely be an advanced civilization (older than 14.7 bil years) that created our entire universe and is not involved in any way.

Mar 23, 2011
THANK JESUS!

Mar 23, 2011
Wow Paulie Mac, you sure showed your true colors right there.
"So?"
ryggesogn2 just gave a number of historical, correct interpretations of the fact that the Church and its followers were at least among the foundations of Science, and your response is "so". Guess you had nothing better to say to answer him.


So? Do you have any proof that they achieved scientific discoveries because of their Christianity and not because some other factor?

Here is an example of your logic : Nazi had many breakthrough in many different areas (for example: rocket sceince), so Nazism helped science greatly. If it wasn't for Nazism modern science would simply not exist.

Mar 23, 2011

Here is an example of your logic : Nazi had many breakthrough in many different areas (for example: rocket sceince), so Nazism helped science greatly. If it wasn't for Nazism modern science would simply not exist.

Where did they get their ideas for eugenics?
"Eugenics has had a religious dimension. Galton suggested that it should function as a religion, and this proposal was echoed by George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russel and others. In the United States shortly after the turn of the century, the American Journal of Eugenics advertised itself by noting that it was "formerly known as Lucifer the Light Bearer.""
And it didn't die out with the NAZIs:
"In 1970, I. I. Gottesman, a director of the American Eugenics Society, defined it in this way: "The essence of evolution is natural selection; the essence of eugenics is the replacement of 'natural' selection by conscious, premeditated, or artificial selection in the hope of speeding up the evolution of 'desirable' characteristics...

Mar 23, 2011
ironic how strict scientific minds embrace the intolerace that they point out religions are guilty of
it is also interesting that christian prophecy says worship will be banned in the end times
and interesting how the educated read the bible like a book instead of good instruction which causes them to miss many good points

one fellow said there is no science in the bible and that is totally untrue

of course one sided arguing only results in shooting down gods word so why take ownership?

the level of vengeance TV and movies it seems like intolerance teachings are really paying off!

so have fun living in a world with people who could care less about gods laws like loving your neighbor by practicing tolerance and forgivness, not slandering one another, helping the needy, valuing the family model by raising children with love and respect for one another and them also

it is in fact men that are flawed - banning religion will only shed more light on that absolute fac

Mar 23, 2011
Where did they get their ideas for eugenics?

The idea itself is very old (Sparta for example). I'm not even sure if it has any religious roots.

Mar 23, 2011
Good point EvgenijM, but I don't think that is the point, and I find you bringing up Nazism to be trap in ill taste.
I didn't ever say that without Christianity modern science would not exist. I will say that I think it would be much further behind. And I will even go so far as to say that the same is true for Nazism, although for different reasons.
The Church kept knowledge, discovered in the past, recorded during the dark ages, and encouraged in some cases scientific exploration afterwards, even if they didn't like the results. Nazism caused a wave of research on both sides in attempt to win the war.

Please refer to ryggesogn2's post for examples of individuals, who in many cases were in service to the church, who pushed science forward and cases where the Christian church purposefully aided Science.
No it wouldn't have been the Christianity in them pushing science forward, but their faith was most likely very central and integral in who they were and the decisions they made.

Mar 23, 2011
epsi00,Skeptic_Heretic; I haven't read this book, but maybe I will. I think your disdain for religion may have blinded you to the areas that it has actually improved things.


really? you should maybe ask all those who suffer sexual abuse at the hands of the religious clergy to tell you how their has been improved. And we know that the practice of sexual abuse has not started yesterday.

Mar 23, 2011
Considering that the religious infrastructure of Christianity holds the lion's share of responsibility for the centuries long duration of the Dark Ages prior to the rise of science, I doubt very much that that religion can claim credit for accelerating it's growth. It is at least equally likely that it would be much further along had it not been for the millennium of deception, destruction, and domination practiced by its adherents and authorities before modern science arose.

Mar 23, 2011
Praise the lord!

Mar 23, 2011
epsi00,Skeptic_Heretic; I haven't read this book, but maybe I will. I think your disdain for religion may have blinded you to the areas that it has actually improved things. [q/]

really? You should ask the ones who suffer sexual abuse at the hand of the religious clergy and ask them how their lives has been improved. And maybe take your kids to a daycare run by the church if you trust them that much.

And we know that sexual abuse by the church has not started yesterday. So yes, I have a big problem with all religions.

./

Mar 23, 2011
"Nevertheless it's impossible not to notice who led the way in medieval natural philosophy: (Long list removed see post above)James Hannam
Mr Hannam needs an education. None of those points you outline are accurately attributed to their originators.

epsi00,Skeptic_Heretic; I haven't read this book, but maybe I will. I think your disdain for religion may have blinded you to the areas that it has actually improved things. I propose that even Romans/Greek rel. were early forms of science as people tried to understand their world, no matter far they missed the mark.
I have disdain for incredulity. If the adherants fo a religion, or the structure of that religion encourages incredulity, then I have a problem with their aim.

Religion I could care less about, as long as it stays in it's place.

Mar 23, 2011
and interesting how the educated read the bible like a book instead of good instruction which causes them to miss many good points

Like the logistics of buying and selling slaves? Those are good points. Leviticus 25:44-46, how cute.

Mar 23, 2011
When will people learn that they dont need to label thmself with a religion? You dont need a religion to believe in God or Jesus.

Anyway, its funny how these people think the bible is the absolute truth and all and how scientists are anti-religious(which is nonsense, i am sure there are religious scientists). Historians that actually study the bible, can probably name a dozen of contradictions in the bible without even looking at historical diggings, know alot more about multiple religions, and yet these religious nutbags claim to know they are so better than these historians.

It sounded better in my head, dint worded it properly... oh well..

Mar 23, 2011
Religion I could care less about, as long as it stays in it's place.

Which is what?
You do seem to really care about your atheist faith and your faith in the govt.

Mar 23, 2011
Who is supposed to be "these people"?


The people who come on this site to preach.

Mar 23, 2011
Following this article I predict a wave of bicycle riding 18-20 year old's in slacks and a white button down appearing on the streets of "Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Netherlands".

Mar 23, 2011
just fear god and stop asking questions :p

Mar 23, 2011
You dont need a religion to believe in God or Jesus.
If people "don't need a religion" as you put it to believe in jesus, how would have they of heard of the magical jew in the first place?

Mar 23, 2011
If people "don't need a religion" as you put it to believe in jesus, how would have they of heard of the magical jew in the first place?


There were alot of people around that time that were called Jesus and that practised carpentry, there is some historical thruths in biblical texts.

Mar 23, 2011
espi00 - your comment about sexual abuse by individuals that happen to be priests or whatever is really stupid, but that has been covered already by frajo.

panorama, you and some others need a bit of a lesson in the meaning of the word religion. It is widely accepted IMO that religion refers to the gov., or demonination of a faith such as the Roman Catholic Church, or Baptist Church etc. What kaasinees is referring to is that it is possible to read, understand and believe in the Bibles message without those institutions.

Frajo is correct, not all take everything in the Bible as absolute truths. I agree with Theistic Evolution myself. The Bible is a complex text which is part History, part Theology. Also lots of poetry and ancient myth.

About preaching here. The one thing that should be preached about here is understanding. Why do these discussions start?
See posts 4,5,6 TabMentis, axemaster, donutz <=NO RESPECT FOR THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS.

Mar 23, 2011
All 3 frajo.

Mar 23, 2011
We are two minutes into the thread. Maybe Otto hasn't seen the fruits of his vendetta yet.
Gott sei danke. I been busy. Religions are only kept active in regions where they are still NEEDED. Elsewhere they are discouraged, denied, destroyed. Praise Empire.
And how exactly is science supposed to include religion? Science is the study of the real world
The engineered religions we are familiar with were methodically Designed to serve a sociopolitical Purpose. They have been essential to the spread of Order throughout the world by demanding that adherents outreproduce their enemies and then annihilate them with glee, and be annihilated in turn. Incredible technological Progress and social cohesion has been the direct result. We are on the verge of colonizing the inner system because our House is in order.

They have done their job well but their time is past. Humanity has grown and doesnt need bedtime stories to make us feel warm and comfy anymore. Their end is nigh!!ha ha

Mar 23, 2011
To preach what? Their religion, their atheism, or their confusion?


There is a difference between discussing and preaching. Some people here come with the mindset of "the bible is the ultimate answer"(kevinrts??) or "anarchaich capitalism will protect my propertaaah"(rya something dude)

Mar 23, 2011
And we know that the practice of sexual abuse has not started yesterday.
...90 percent of cases of sexual abuse take place in "normal" families. Their victims don't deserve to be publicly neglected.
And what is the relative percentage per capita I wonder? Was this sort of behavior encouraged in seminaries? Without disparaging gays in general, is it a coincidence that the religion is designed around a supposedly celebate, long-haired, softspoken love god who travels surrounded by an all male entourage save for his mum and the token harlot?

Consider the virgin mary, who gave birth without being sullied by the touch of a man. What 2 better icons to attract a vilified minority to a reclusive life in monasteries and nunneries. And who would provide more loyal service? An ancient, pagan, pre-xian tradition of dionysian eunichs and vestal virgins. Charlemagne condemned the debauchery in these places.

Mar 23, 2011
So...is our consciousness and awareness of reality the result of complete random chance on how the universe and our earth formed? If it is just an arrangement of particles that make up our consciousness and reality, does that mean that we will be reincarnated in another universe elsewhere instead of an afterlife? The particles that make us up just have to arrange that way again.

Mar 23, 2011
There were alot of people around that time that were called Jesus

Cool?
and that practised carpentry, there is some historical thruths in biblical texts.

I said nothing of carpentry, also, wasn't the jesus in your fairy tales the son of a carpenter. The time I've read the bible I don't recall the texts where jesus rolled up his sleeves and grabbed a planer. Get back to me when you have a point.

panorama, you and some others need a bit of a lesson in the meaning of the word religion.
As a person who was raised catholic, spent many years as a methodist, dabbled in judaism, and finally is the leader of their own church (First Church of the Last Resort) I think I know a thing or two about religion...IMO.

"You don't use your mind to think about your religion." Rev. Ivan Stang


Mar 23, 2011
Religion I could care less about, as long as it stays in it's place.
Religion is about to make a big comeback in science!

Scientists have not been able to explain the origin of the big bang. Religion will and only religion can because the math will not add up for any other theory agnostic or atheist scientists try to feed us.

Mar 23, 2011
The reason for religion theories not being mentioned much by science, is the obvious "null result".
Its not very exiting to publish null result studies.

When you have ANY proof, please come back. It should e.g. be easy for a omnipotent God to heal an amputee?

Mar 23, 2011
You dont need a religion to believe in God or Jesus.
If people "don't need a religion" as you put it to believe in jesus, how would have they of heard of the magical jew in the first place?


Haven't you seen "The Life of Brian"?

Mar 23, 2011
The odds of a God not creating our universe is 1 in a googolplexplex.

Mar 23, 2011
The odds of a God not creating our universe is 1 in a googolplexplex.

I would say the same for the odds of of a ghod creating our universe.

Mar 23, 2011
Wow Panorama, are you a cult leader? at least tell me its one like Scientology in that you intend to use it to bilk celebrities out of their money. Oh and smart people do use their mind to think about religion, smart people both in and outside of religion. The big problem is those that just accept what they are told, it makes for believers with no knowledge and disbelievers that don't know why they disbelieve.

Tabula, I don't think religion needs to make a comeback. Unfortunately its alive and well. Belief in something bigger than $ or randomness on the other hand.

GhostofOtto is another situation all together. Its hard to interpret what you mean. Its obvious that you have some sort of problem with religion. Please tell us what you believe in, don't mince words or wax poetic, just strait forward.

btw I like how your profile quotes a Bible verse. You've done a good job in misrepresenting its intentions by quoting out of context.

Mar 23, 2011
TabulaMentis, do you think that saying things like that actually would have any sway in the minds of people who think its all bullcrap anyway?
It won't, do yourself a favor and stop stirring up hornets nests, when the only defense you have is a cocktail sword.

Mar 23, 2011
The graphs seem to show an exponential trend towards no belief with the 50% mark being passed before mid 21st century.

Mar 23, 2011
The simple matter is that there is less and less for God to do. People used to see natural phenomena as God's direct intervention; now we know they're the result of purely natural, non-supernatural processes.

We now know that every creation story is false. Traditional cosmology is false. And much Biblical prophesy is based on mmistranslation (It's not "a virgin with conceive", but "a young woman (Hebrew: "almah") will concieve) (http://ohr.edu/as...0j.htm). Most morality is common sense, custom, and self-preservation, and now cience can tell us how we and the world got here and why it is like it is.

In short, we don't need religion except to relate to entities which we cannot even know with certainty exist, whom we only know about through religion, and whose alleged intervention in human affairs may really just be coincidence and natural phenomena.

Mar 23, 2011
Thank heaven we are evolving beyond Paleolithic religionism. I have studied comparative theology for 4 decades - nothing has had a more destructive influence on human development, caused more human suffering, genocidal death, the destruction of cultural heritage, the repression of scientific discovery, than the religious impulse, even more so than pandemic disease or militarism. I wonder how many here have studied the Chalcedonian Edict, the banning of Origenism under Justinian and Theodora, the Malleus Maleficarum, Inquisitions under Torquemada, the list goes on. Thank heaven we are evolving to greater rationality. I firmly believe in an inattributably intelligent universe, but never in the "great puppeteer," revengeful and jealous, commanding the destruction of entire nations, their women, children, yea, even unto their animals. He's welcome to go the hell of their own design. Drooling, nail-biting evangelism insisting on a heaven-hell polarity, misunderstands contextual objectivity.

Mar 23, 2011
"Religion on the verge of extinction"... Best news I've heard all day.
I have to say thank you to all that have posted on here. I have read through all of them with great amusement. I openly declare myself as Atheist, and proud of it. I do however respect those with simplistic minds and their need for religion so that they can have a structured life. I have no need of a caveman ideology to dictate my morals and the way I view life. I don't believe we as Humans are of any higher intelligence than we were 2,000+ years ago, but rather our knowledge base is in orders of magnitude greater than what we had possessed, and our willingness to see possibilities. I think that if someone was able to travel back in time and handed Moses an iPad, he would of dropped his tablets much further up the mountain, and would of ran down in horror at the "supernatural" visage.

Mar 23, 2011
The graphs seem to show an exponential trend towards no belief with the 50% mark being passed before mid 21st century.
The graph is for agnostics and atheists, not for those who believe in a God. It is a fill good story for those kinds of people.

Mar 23, 2011
"Religion on the verge of extinction"... Best news I've heard all day.
I have to say thank you to all that have posted on here. I have read through all of them with great amusement. I openly declare myself as Atheist, and proud of it. I do however respect those with simplistic minds and their need for religion so that they can have a structured life. I have no need of a caveman ideology to dictate my morals and the way I view life. I don't believe we as Humans are of any higher intelligence than we were 2,000+ years ago, but rather our knowledge base is in orders of magnitude greater than what we had possessed, and our willingness to see possibilities. I think that if someone was able to travel back in time and handed Moses an iPad, he would of dropped his tablets much further up the mountain, and would of ran down in horror at the "supernatural" visage.
If you are so smart, then explain the origin of the big bang.

Mar 23, 2011
I would say the same for the odds of of a ghod creating our universe.
Having a little trouble talking there?

Mar 23, 2011
GhostofOtto is another situation all together. Its hard to interpret what you mean. Its obvious that you have some sort of problem with religion. Please tell us what you believe in, don't mince words or wax poetic, just strait forward.
Many people here have a good idea what I'm talking about, as I have spouted many times about it.
btw I like how your profile quotes a Bible verse. You've done a good job in misrepresenting its intentions by quoting out of context.
-Says the noob. Do you think I wrote that for you? Try assuming you don't know what it means and ask politely. Hint: it's sarcasm. Hint: anti-troll warfare.

Mar 23, 2011
Ok, a synopsis of ottos theory of grand design. Long long ago in a forest not too far away, 2 chiefs were discussing their mutual problems. "My young braves are a headache. All they want is to fight with yours over resources and women. It will be the end of us both." The other chief smiles. "I've been thinking. Why don't you send out your troublemakers and I'll ambush them for you? And then you can do the same for me." "But how can I trust you?" asks the first chief. "Here, marry my daughter and I'll marry yours. We'll be family." "Yowsa!"

-And a long tradition of planned wars and population control was started that day, which was really just an expression of the Intent of a Tribe of Leaders to Manage the people. Because the people are always the enemy of Leaders.

Obviously it's a little more involved than that. But this neatly explains everything we see in the world today.

Mar 23, 2011
When it came to members of religious organizations advancing science, was it that they had the advantage of being able to read and write, at a time when most others, not part of the religious class,did not.

Mar 23, 2011
Scientists have not been able to explain the origin of the big bang.
NOT YET.
Religion will
No, religion SAYS it will and people like you will suck it up because it makes you feel good. But it won't. What it will do, is endanger further research as it always has. Which means it could endanger the future of the human race as it always has, because we may not find out enough about how the universe really works in order to protect ourselves when necessary.

This is never a critical thing for religionists because, heck, they'll be in heaven. But there are People who do care, and who know that the only way to immortality of sorts is through the genes and the Knowledge they pass on to their children. People like you will not be allowed to jeopardize that chance. Because you're being Managed don't you know.

Mar 23, 2011
When it came to members of religious organizations advancing science, was it that they had the advantage of being able to read and write, at a time when most others, not part of the religious class,did not.

Why would those religionists want their followers to be able to read and write? Why would they want to start universities like Harvard and Yale?

Mar 23, 2011
If you are so smart, then explain the origin of the big bang.

I do not possess the knowledge base to describe its occurrence. I can speculate on it, but as no one (at least on Earth) possess the knowledge it would be meaningless and trivial to do so, but Humanity loves puzzles and so we pursue it. I can however speculate for you that the "Big Bang" may not have ever occurred. An easy way to look at it is if you take the Space Time fabric and twist it over, you would perceive a point of singularity (Big Bang), however the actual fabric is untouched.

Mar 23, 2011
Hey, here's a funny story from a respected news source:
http://today.msnb...y-books/

"Now, as a pastor, Im not a believer in superstition. [cackle] Still, some weird, unsettled part of me felt that if we just hunkered down close to home, wed be safe. Finally, though, reason ...won out."

-Obviously an unbiased and rational source, and unquestionable due to the element of children in peril and a cute cover pic. Sorry but hahahaa.

Mar 23, 2011
If you are so smart, then explain the origin of the big bang.
Once I finish the book I have been working on for twenty years, then I will do that. Oh, the religious people back in the eighties gave me all kinds of hell because they did not know what I was up to. Now they do, but the atheists and agnostics do not, but soon they will too. Ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Mar 23, 2011
"The question now was just how much further Christian numbers could grow. If you extrapolate recent Christian growth into the near future, no Muslim majority seems safe, even in a place like Nigeria, where some polls in recent years have suggested an outright Christian majority. "
"The new believers draw on Western, and specifically American, forms of evangelism, marketing their faith through videos and DVDs."
http://www.amconm...1/00022/
What extinction?

Mar 23, 2011
"The question now was just how much further Christian numbers could grow. If you extrapolate recent Christian growth into the near future, no Muslim majority seems safe, even in a place like Nigeria, where some polls in recent years have suggested an outright Christian majority. "
But they forgot to point out how the country is already full of internal strife and misery due to overpop and will EXPLODE soon due to rising pressure. Courtesy of RELIGION.

Mar 23, 2011
But they forgot to point out how the country is already full of internal strife and misery due to overpop and will EXPLODE soon due to rising pressure. Courtesy of RELIGION
No. Courtesy of people who claim to be believers of God! God is love, not hate!

Dug
Mar 23, 2011
Or, there could be repeated big bangs. Coalescence of matter to the point of explosion - then more coalescence ad infinitum and not necessarily in the same place, but in different places with multiple epi-centers. Perhaps there are more big bangs going on in distant parts of the universe and the matter is coalesced long before it reaches us. We think our universe is expanding, but maybe it's only our big bang that is expanding.

These quotes most likely explain religions logical decline:

- "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." - Delos B. McKown

- What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. Christopher Hitchens

- I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. Stephen Roberts

It aint the parts of the Bible that I cant understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. - Mark Twain

Mar 23, 2011
Ah...religion. Here we go again, the crutch and opium for human's mind. Christians is going defensive trying to convince nonbelievers for their God. Muslims are going on the offensive for their God, blowing away those disagree. Buddhists just don't care what others say. Truth is self-evident if you bother to discover it yourself, instead of delegating it to some higher beings to spell it out for you. And who to say that the scribes was able to record in human's languages exactly what the truth is? There is no guarrantee it can be expressed in words.

Dug
Mar 23, 2011
Or, there could be repeated big bangs. Coalescence of matter to the point of explosion - then more coalescence ad infinitum and not necessarily in the same place, but in different places with multiple epi-centers. Perhaps there are more big bangs going on in distant parts of the universe and the matter is coalesced long before it reaches us. We think our universe is expanding, but maybe it's only our big bang that is expanding.

These quotes most likely explain religions logical decline:
"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." - Delos B. McKown
- What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. - Christopher Hitchens
- I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. - Stephen Roberts
- It ain't the parts of the Bible that I cant understand that bother me, it is the part that I do understand. - Mark Twain

Mar 23, 2011
Using the food analogy, Truth from the Bible is: "here is good food. You should enjoy it". Truth from the Q'ran is: " here is food, the only food, eat it or die!". Truth from Buddhism is: "Here is the correct recipe for food. Cook it well and you will enjoy your own work." There you have it, folks.

Mar 23, 2011
God is love, not hate!


Are you a Jehova Witness?

Mar 23, 2011
Buddhists just don't care what others say. Truth is self-evident if you bother to discover it yourself, instead of delegating it to some higher beings to spell it out for you.
The Tamil Tigers were the first suicide bombers. The Western view of Buddhism is often incredibly inaccurate.
Which is what?
The private lives of the individuals who chose such a pursuit.
You do seem to really care about your atheist faith
Idiot.
and your faith in the govt.
Idiot^2.

Mar 23, 2011
The Tamil Tigers were the first suicide bombers. The Western view of Buddhism is often incredibly inaccurate.


From wikipedia:
The LTTE was also responsible for a 1998 attack on the Buddhist shrine, and UNESCO world heritage site, Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy that killed 8 worshipers. The attack was symbolic in that the shrine, which houses a sacred tooth of the Buddha, is the holiest Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka.[94] Other Buddhist shrines have been attacked, notably the Sambuddhaloka Temple in Colombo that killed 9 worshipers.[95]


Why would Buddhists attack a Buddhist shrine And kill Buddhists?
Typicaly Buddhists dont even believe in killing or even harming other living beings.

Mar 23, 2011
Science can always explain how but it will never explain why. I'm not talking about the classic "Why are we here?" For example, science can explain how I am able to taste an apple. It can accurately predict how my taste buds interact with my brain to produce the sensations involved with taste. However it does not explain why an apple tastes the way it does. It does not explain why I taste. It does not explain why an apple exists or why I want to eat it.

My point is, regardless of a belief in religion, there are answers science can never provide. If you argue everything is random, take a look around. The world is too beautiful to be random. A belief in a higher power, regardless of what you call it, can create harmony out of chaos.

Mar 23, 2011
..The Tamil Tigers were the first suicide bombers. The Western view of Buddhism is often incredibly inaccurate.


Please check your say sos. Tamil Tigers have links with and helped al-Qaeda. They are more of Muslim fanatics affiliates than Buddhists. Moreover, do you here anywhere their battle cry "Buddha is great!" heh? As for the Westerners' views on many things that came out of the Orient, no disagreement there. Look at how they make an abortion of Yoga in the US by wildy interpreting and inventing.


Mar 23, 2011
If you are so smart, then explain the origin of the big bang.
Once I finish the book I have been working on for twenty years, then I will do that. Oh, the religious people back in the eighties gave me all kinds of hell because they did not know what I was up to. Now they do, but the atheists and agnostics do not, but soon they will too. Ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
I've wrote 4 books at this point in my life. 2 of which have been published with incredibly limited circulation. (nothing even worth note to be quite honest), however I do know the process. If you've been working on a book for 20 years, it's not much of a book, you're not much of an author, and your subject matter is as apparent as your book, which is, to say the most, imaginary.

Time to put up or shut up. Twell us your great secrets, or just stop blathering on about them Mr Kaczor.

Mar 23, 2011
..The Tamil Tigers were the first suicide bombers. The Western view of Buddhism is often incredibly inaccurate.


Please check your say sos. Tamil Tigers have links with and helped al-Qaeda. They are Muslim fanatics affiliates rather than Buddhists. Moreover, do you hear anywhere their battle cry "Buddha is great!" heh? A quick Wiki check will suffice. Personally, i knew a person who have relatives in the Tamil Tigers. he had moved out of Sri Lanka and we worked at the same company for 3 years. His religion? Islam. As for the Westerners' views on many things that came out of the Orient, no disagreement there. Look at how they make an abortion of Yoga in the US by wildy interpreting and inventing.

Mar 23, 2011
My brain hurts after reading this mess. ARG...

But seriously, who stole my god helmet?

Mar 23, 2011
Please check your say sos. Tamil Tigers have links with and helped al-Qaeda. They are more of Muslim fanatics affiliates than Buddhists. Moreover, do you here anywhere their battle cry "Buddha is great!" heh? As for the Westerners' views on many things that came out of the Orient, no disagreement there. Look at how they make an abortion of Yoga in the US by wildy interpreting and inventing.

Kass, Skep,

The Tamil Tigers are predominantly buddhist and minority muslim and hindu. The Tamil fight for liberation from the Sinhalese, or Sri Lankan natives. There is no Al Qaida tie in outside of typical black market terrorist exchange.

Mar 23, 2011
if god created the universe,

then what created god?

Mar 23, 2011


"So? Do you have any proof that they achieved scientific discoveries because of their Christianity and not because some other factor?"

A 'Closed Mind' would have no place in my Laboratory!

"Here is an example of your logic : Nazi had many breakthrough in many different areas (for example: rocket sceince), so Nazism helped science greatly. If it wasn't for Nazism modern science would simply not exist. "

As was disclosed in East German Archives: A group of 'Nazi' Scientists risked their lives in choosing NOT to study the Splitting of the Atom . . . they feared for such knowledge in the hands of a madman!
Would that Our Scientists have been possessed of such 'Enlightened' benevolence!
I maintain that Teller 'Out-Gunned' Oppenheimer, who, upon witnessing what his efforts had wrought, referenced a Quote:
"I am become God, Destroyer of Worlds!"

Roy J Stewart,
Phoenix AZ, USA

Mar 23, 2011
Kass, Skep,

The Tamil Tigers are predominantly buddhist and minority muslim and hindu. The Tamil fight for liberation from the Sinhalese, or Sri Lankan natives. There is no Al Qaida tie in outside of typical black market terrorist exchange.


That's in no way means there is a branch of buddhist terrorists (an oxymoron), as you are trying to imply with your brad stroke of brush. They simply fight for what they believe is their rightful land, with violent means, of which all the people in the world throughout history are guilty one time or another. But they don't push their religion in front of it like a battering ram. Were Tibet is an Islamic land, all sorts of jihadi freedom fighters will "help their brothers" and the Chinese will never have swallowed it without breaking a few teeth. Look at Kasmir. The muslims there will fight (with other helping hands) until the end of time.

Mar 23, 2011
The Tamil Tigers were the first suicide bombers.
You sure it wasn't the kamikaze? There've also been instances of soldiers strapping bombs or grenades to themselves, and diving under tanks or into bunkers, going at least as far back as World War I...

Some say there are no atheists in foxholes; I say there are no Christians in foxholes. Or otherwise, how does it go? "God is love, not hate, thou shalt not kill, I love you man, now die mofo, DIE!!!"

Mar 23, 2011
This research was done in developed, wealthy and civilized countries. I wouldn't be surprised if it is actually going the opposite way in islamic countries.

Mar 23, 2011
This research was done in developed, wealthy and civilized countries. I wouldn't be surprised if it is actually going the opposite way in islamic countries.

Christianity is growing in Africa.

Mar 23, 2011
Christianity is growing in Africa.
Get 'em while they're young and/or ignorant and/or superstitious. Same old story.

Mar 23, 2011
I've wrote 4 books at this point in my life. 2 of which have been published with incredibly limited circulation. (nothing even worth note to be quite honest), however I do know the process. If you've been working on a book for 20 years, it's not much of a book, you're not much of an author, and your subject matter is as apparent as your book, which is, to say the most, imaginary.
ToE is not an easy thing to explain. The artwork is also a bear.

Mar 23, 2011
If god created the universe, then what created god?
A gay atheist once asked me a similar question. His question was as follows: "If you are so religious, then explain where God came from." There was a beginning, contrary to what the fanatics believe. It is a very interesting story.

Mar 23, 2011
ToE is not an easy thing to explain. The artwork is also a bear.
Hah! That was actually pretty funny.

But I suspect you're being serious. In which case, what in heaven do you mean? Your TOE is as simple as it gets: Ghost Did It! See, one sentence, and I didn't even need to write a book.
There was a beginning, contrary to what the fanatics believe.
But what begat the beginning, and in what context did the beginning begin?

Mar 23, 2011
Christianity is growing in Africa.


Death penalty is imposed on Christians and people willing to convert to Christianity in almost every Islamic state incl. Africa.

Mar 23, 2011
and in related physorg news...
http://www.physor...tis.html

Mar 23, 2011
We understand and comprehend when any 'explanation' is void of any connotation associated with the meaning of the word 'magic'.
Er... not quite. There have been plenty of scientific hypotheses that turned out to be false, and I'm quite sure most of them didn't involve anything remotely identifiable as 'magic'.
At any time, our rule is: Assume everything.
Well, everything that doesn't contradict already-known state and properties of the universe. And then, everything that isn't in itself self-contradictory. And then, that would still make an infinity of assumptions, so you'll never be done assuming. Best to formulate hypotheses only about that which is currently unknown but at least grounded in existing understanding and potentially testable in the near future.
I assume magic will be extinct.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Mar 23, 2011
"Like the logistics of buying and selling slaves? Those are good points. Leviticus 25:44-46, how cute."

panorama

here is my simple point

the verses following explain the instruction further

"47 But in case the hand of the alien resident or the settler with you becomes wealthy, and your brother has become poor alongside him and must sell himself to the alien resident or the settler with you, or to a member of the family of the alien resident, 48 after he has sold himself, the right of repurchase will continue in his case. One of his brothers may buy him back."

"55 For to me the sons of Israel are slaves. They are my slaves whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am Jehovah YOUR God."

it was their instruction at the time given their circumstances and another step of failure to follow gods laws which led to the propitiatory sacrifice

but that means nothing if you harbor hatred towards your neighbor for the great sins of others

the truth only goes to those chosen by him

Mar 23, 2011
Doesn't God represent a perfect state of harmony?

Why would God create a random, probabilistic, chaotic, universe such as ours? If God is everything, why was it necessary to create?

Mar 23, 2011
and in related physorg news...
http://www.physor...tis.html
Good story. Those things come from and return to the parallel universe(s) in which they originated, even it they die here no traces of them, nor their hair will remain, even their dung, I think.

Mar 23, 2011
Doesn't God represent a perfect state of harmony? Why would God create a random, probabilistic, chaotic, universe such as ours? If God is everything, why was it necessary to create?
Entertainment.

Mar 23, 2011
Why would God create a random, probabilistic, chaotic, universe such as ours?
Maybe Ghost likes to play dice?
If God is everything, why was it necessary to create?
Maybe the process of creation is part of "everything"? Or maybe Ghost is only 0.613229 of everything...

Arguing about the fantastical properties of imaginary entity/entities is fun, but altogether pointless in the end.

Mar 24, 2011
Here is a fact based comedy bit from a major TV channel's prime time, free-to-air comedy/entertainment show from one of the countries listed in the study:

---

Catholic Bishops have authorized a new translation of the bible that doesn't include the word 'booty'. The new American bible will use the terms 'spoils of war' instead of 'booty' to avoid laughter at Sunday school. But don't worry, the cast of the old testament will still beget each others brains out!

The church says the new bible will be more poetic and more accurate - so, I guess, it now starts with: In the beginning we made this shit up! The word virgin is also being replaced with 'young woman' and the holy spirit that gets her pregnant is Vodka.

The new translation is remarkably different - god now makes the world in seven tweets and they're replacing 'blessed are the meek' with 'gay marriage burns my eyes'!

--

Yup, I'd say the study is bang on! :)

Mar 24, 2011
lets take the smartest man ever and put him on an island with all the necessities except education/law/and previous generational knowledge

I bet that man wont invent glass, sailing, or basic math

even if he could that would be about it

now this guy is smarter than me and you yet people on these blogs respond so big headed like I am so smart and you are really dumb

really?

none of us are that smart and most of us are average and will die the next 50 yrs

but those most have an almighty grip on god and his existence or non existence because it is annoying to deal with past sins of men - but man is the problem

we are corrupt and selfish minded and in need of instruction

like be good to people and you will sleep better and have better health and make those around you happier and they will live longer

the almighty knows our simple truths because he created us

but if you dont seek his good fruit you wont eat it

meditate daily and pray for good instruction and apply it to all things

Mar 24, 2011
and in related physorg news...
http://www.physor...tis.html
I forgot to mention, I knew a woman who saw a Big Foot sitting on her house watching her one day when she was leaving home. She said it was sort of friendly, but she got out of there without disturbing it.

Mar 24, 2011
the almighty knows our simple truths because he created us
Um, no, quite to the contrary. It's because we created "him".
meditate daily and pray for good instruction and apply it to all things
Or, just trust your natural emotional instincts (unless you're a sociopath, in which case even prayer won't help you...)

Mar 24, 2011
lets take the smartest man ever and put him on an island with all the necessities except education/law/and previous generational knowledge

I bet that man wont invent glass, sailing, or basic math

even if he could that would be about it
Oh, I'm sure he'd invent some dumb-ass religion. That's all but guaranteed. Every single tribe on Earth since time immemorial has had its very own version of THE TRUTH.

Mar 24, 2011
lets take the smartest man ever and put him on an island with all the necessities except education/law/and previous generational knowledge

I bet that man wont invent glass, sailing, or basic math

He might well invent glass if he was placed on volcanic island. He would come across obsidian deposits and note its useful properties. He would associate it with the volcano and heat and might come across melted sand with similar properties and so start experimenting.

Sailing also wouldn't be a stretch. He can see fallen trees floating in water and how a strong wind pushes him and other objects back and he could combine the two easily enough.

As for basic math, how basic? I'm sure he could start by counting or marking things off on the fingers of his hands to represent quantity. He would have an idea of larger, smaller or the same. A basic form of simple arithmetic could be devised, if not as polished and elegant as we have today. Hell even animals nave a sense of numeracy/quantity.

Mar 24, 2011
The countries studied are of a more or less shared cultural heritage (Northern European). I'd be interested in seeing studies done in South American, Asian, and African countries, too. And of course the study only maps the demise of stated religious affiliation in the countries studied, not of personal interest in spirituality or ethics.

Mar 24, 2011
nd of course the study only maps the demise of stated religious affiliation in the countries studied, not of personal interest in spirituality or ethics.

The study was about organized religion, not about even vaguer notions like spirituality, and I don't know what ethics has to do with either.

Mar 24, 2011
Reason being is because scientists have excluded religion from their theories and those same scientist proclaim their theories as being the absolute truth, thereby influencing public opinion. Once science theories begin to include religion will surveys show a different trend.


Not only is this fool thinking that scientists have excluded religion (already discussed and rejected earlier), they have the audacity to suggest that scientists proclaim their knowledge to be "absolute truth", which is simply ridiculous. Show me a scientist who does not enjoy to be shown wrong, and you aren't showing my a scientist. To be shown wrong, is also to be shown what is the better theory.

Mar 24, 2011
There was palaeolithic religionism?
Yes. At least there are sculptures that look like figurines intended represent things that aren't truely human, presumably some sort of god. Hard to be sure without A writen record.

Of course we ARE certain that there was religion in illiterate iron age peoples. The Norse or the various Celts for instance. Via imagery and Roman writings. So there is no reason to think writing is needed for religion and I sure don't see a reason to think iron is either as the Mayans had writing, religion and no sign of bronze much less iron.

Ethelred

Mar 24, 2011
I have read the study, which is basically a maths paper rather than giving any serious attention to the sociology of religion. The key flawed assumption is that the so-called utility of religious affiliation is exactly the same for each citizen in a country. i.e. regardless of whether they are frequent religious attenders, people who only go occasionally, or atheists. This is assumption is clearly untrue. They also assume the utility has changed in the past but will remain constant hereafter. Their model does not represent diversity: they do discuss the case of different social networks (e.g. regions) but then assume the same utility number applies for every group. They do not consider countries where religion is growing faster than non-religion, e.g. Russia and China (the logic of their approach would end up with those becoming 100% religious). They do not consider the interplay between countries where religion is growing and where it is declining. Their model is absurdly simplistic.

Mar 24, 2011
Specifically about New Zealand, the drop in census religion is mostly among people who weren't particularly religious anyway (low utility) while the core attenders (high utility) have kept going. The core could be estimated as at least the 20% of New Zealanders who attend religious services at least monthly,
or up to the 47% who attend at least yearly for reasons other than weddings and funerals (reference the NZ Election Study 2008). Although overall census numbers have dropped, attendances are rising for some churches/religions. One example is the Methodists, one of New Zealand's bigger denominations, which had been declining for years but confounded predictions of pending extinction by growing at the last census. Similarly I think the overall census religion numbers will not go to extinction but eventually bottom out above the core numbers and start to grow again.

Mar 24, 2011
You know that torture is appreciated by atheists.
Excuse me?
my friend Zachary ... deeply religious
Did they get him while he was young, naive, and overly trusting? That's typically the case with the "deeply religious".
You are grossly generalizing.
Am I? How would a rational and unbiased adult choose from among the hundreds (thousands?) of contemporary religions (never mind extinct or freshly confabulated ones) -- unless they were already predisposed through some cultural or familial influence (or just plain peer pressure?) That's aside from the obvious anthropogenic origins of religions -- obvious to any impartial, informed, and objective observer, that is -- and aside from religion's manifest ontogenic uselessness.

Mar 24, 2011
Wow Paulie Mac, you sure showed your true colors right there.
"So?"
ryggesogn2 just gave a number of historical, correct interpretations of the fact that the Church and its followers were at least among the foundations of Science, and your response is "so". Guess you had nothing better to say to answer him.


Yes, I did show my true colours, I suppose, as a person who enjoys arguments to argue a point.

Adherents to *many* religions have been among the "foundations" of science. It is natural, predictable, and obvious to anyone past the mental age of three that the dominant social, political, and economic forces in any society will have some influence - whether monetarily or philosophically - over the intellectual output of that society.

I ask "so?", because ryg stated a bunch of facts with *no* *conclusion*. "Christions did x, y, and z". So?? What's the conclusion? What's the point of the post? What is he trying to convince anyone of?


Mar 24, 2011
Religion is the root of most evil, and the sooner we rid ourselves of it, the better! BANKING ON HEAVEN . cp


Amen to that! Just remember to also rid yourselves of the religion of evolution which professes that all living things descended from one ancestor. The basis for that assertion is religious since it cannot be observed, tested or falsified in any scientific manner whatsoever. One can only go by faith that it's true and try to link up existing physical evidence in support of one's religion.

The interesting thing is that as more & more people believe in the religion of evolution, the biblical prediction in Romans 11 becomes true: God's grace towards the gentiles will come to an end and it will then re-extend to the Jews.

Mar 24, 2011
I would bet that the countries in this article don't have the snake oil peddlers mass marketing religion on television like the US does. All these people should be taken off the air. They are liars who seek nothing but money and power. Whether you are a believer or not you should know these people are nothing but salesmen who don't believe in their product. There should be a law against them being on television. Freedom of speech doesn't apply for the same reason you can't yell fire in a theater if there isn't one, they are for profit and nothing else.

Mar 24, 2011
Following this article I predict a wave of bicycle riding 18-20 year old's in slacks and a white button down appearing on the streets of "Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Netherlands".


lol! :)

Mar 24, 2011
Just remember to also rid yourselves of the religion of evolution which professes that all living things descended from one ancestor.
I am very religious and I am a great fan of evolution because God is a product of evolution. God had a beginning and she has not always existed.

Mar 24, 2011
This "study" is one of many meta-analyses in recent years which suffer from the tendency of those conducting the meta-analysis to "find what they are looking for".

The beginning premise is that "no religious affiliation = no religion".

The conclusion is "no religious affiliation = no religion".

When you begin and end with a fallacious notion, your "study" or "meta-analysis" is flawed.

It is not necessary to declare affiliation with a religious denomination in order to be religious.

It is not necessary to regularly attend meetings with a religious denomination in order to be religious.

Religion is a term which applies to a very diverse and very large population. It is not going away.

Mar 24, 2011
I am very religious and I am a great fan of evolution because God is a product of evolution. God had a beginning and she has not always existed.

P.S.: When I say she I am not referring to the Mother Nature Universe Theory (MNUT).

Mar 24, 2011
The interesting thing is that as more & more people believe in the religion of evolution, the biblical prediction in Romans 11 becomes true: God's grace towards the gentiles will come to an end and it will then re-extend to the Jews.
But... Lots of Jews accept the reality of evolution too... ? Try another passage-

Mar 24, 2011
You assume they had no toys for their offspring,
No I did not. Do you know what a fertility figure is? Such images were made in Europe in the palaeolithic. They sure as hell weren't made for young boys. They are about as erotic as a cow flop.

Assume whatever you like.
I assumed nothing there. You really don't know much about this if you are disagreeing with me on this. I grew up with this stuff when my mother was getting a degree in Anthropology.

I prefer to be strict on definitions of terms like "palaeolithic",
Then you need to learn what they mean. The fertility figures were absolutely stone age which is what palaeolithic means. Before metal working.

http://en.wikiped...igurines

Shoddy wording doesn't help in controversial discussions.
Show where I used any.

More

Mar 24, 2011
It is not necessary to declare affiliation with a religious denomination in order to be religious.
Indeed, some antisocial nonconformists feel free to cut and paste their own special brand of fantasy, one that makes them the Ursache. All of the benefits with none of the hassles. If they can convince others they may become branch dividians, or Mormons. David koresh enjoyed himself immensely I suppose.

Mar 24, 2011
I'd rather defend the other party when "my" party goes muddy.
Fine. I was pointing where YOU went muddy. There is ample evidence of religion in the paleolithic. I didn't even bring up the Neanderthal burials which are a very strong indication of them having some sort of spiritual beliefs.

http://en.wikiped...Timeline

The Iron Age did not come to the New World until Europeans brought it with them. And that includes any possible trading by the Chinese as they had no effect on the New World technology.

And, yes, that's what I want to be treated like.
Which is what I did. You went muddy. Or over the top in my vernacular.

It isn't my fault or the fault of reality and human history that you get upset when some of the Atheists around here go overboard. Try sticking to the facts and don't emotional. I find it works better. The occasional joke doesn't hurt either but that has language problems.

Ethelred

Mar 24, 2011
If they can convince others they may become branch dividians, or Mormons. David koresch enjoyed himself immensely I suppose.


You are describing religious affiliation. I was describing religion without religious affiliation.

It is possible to be very religious and not claim affiliation with a particular denomination. Increasingly, people are choosing to say that they are not affiliated with a particular denomination. Those people are not saying that they are not religious.

Mar 24, 2011
The interesting thing is that as more & more people believe in the religion of evolution, the biblical prediction in Romans 11 becomes true: God's grace towards the gentiles will come to an end and it will then re-extend to the Jews.
But... Lots of Jews accept the reality of evolution too... ? Try another passage-
-Yeah one which says something like 'those who look too closely at what god is doing to figure out how he is doing it will go to hell and also ruin it for everybody else.'

Is that what god was implying when he punished all of Israel because David dared to take a census? So hard to tell without guessing.
You are describing religious affiliation. I was describing religion without religious affiliation.
I'm saying that most all fabricationists harbor the desire to share their unique insight into the true nature of god, gather a multitude and march on Jerusalem or Mecca.

Mar 24, 2011
...oh, it's just too much!

to resume the above discussions:
1. all those who do not believe in my religion must believe in another religion.
2. all those atheists are hidden believers.
3. those who do not care about religion, one way or another, do not exist.
4. in science one must trust, hence one is a believer.
5. praise the lord.
6. there exists no secular humanism.
6'. one is not allowed to embrace moral laws unless in the frame of a religion - better be Christian.
7. we are doomed.
8. see 5.
9. I know something I won't tell.

Mar 24, 2011
i guess the muslims have not read this artical. They are spreading like cancer.

Mar 24, 2011
It is possible to be very SPIRITUAL and not claim affiliation with a particular denomination. Increasingly, people are choosing to say that they are not affiliated with a particular denomination. Those people are not saying that they are not SPIRITUAL.


How can one say they are not associated with a religion yet are religious? That's like me saying that I don't have a M.D. but I'm a practising physician.

Being religious implies they are part of a religion. You can't not be part of a religion and still practise it.

Mar 24, 2011
Ironically, it might well be science that "saves" religion. The latest social-scientific research shows that religious people, especially those affiliated with a religious institution: 1- have a longer lifespan; 2- are more content with their lives. Once THAT "news" becomes wider common knowledge, many potential "defectors" could well reconsider their position.

Mar 24, 2011
I live in one of those countries and the reason why people say they are not religious is mainly because it's simply old fashioned and obviously silly, but that doesn't mean they don't 'believe' at all. Many still believe in something like a god/spirit and other magical things.
"The bigger a group, the more members they are able to draw in." This behaviour lies at the very heart of a religion: to simply act like sheep without giving it a second thought.

So that what drives religion at its core is still very much alive here. And I bet for those reasons, that even if religion has gone extinct it will evolve again.

Mar 24, 2011
Ironically, it might well be science that "saves" religion. The latest social-scientific research shows that religious people, especially those affiliated with a religious institution: 1- have a longer lifespan; 2- are more content with their lives. Once THAT "news" becomes wider common knowledge, many potential "defectors" could well reconsider their position.


Source?

And as an athiest myself, you are so utterly wrong, "Prof". I cannot and will not "believe" in any god, unless proven to be true. And I can assure you of this, not believing in a god has made me so much more appriciative of life in general. You cannot truly realize how precious life is when you think you are going to live forever. That plus the fact that I don't have a nagging fear of death has made me more content than I ever would have been if I was religious. In contradiction to your statements, religion is what makes me less content.

Enjoy life while it lasts, cause you only get one shot at it.

Mar 24, 2011
The "ontogenic" decoration doesn't help to hide your lack of respect for people living beyond your emphatic faculty. You tell them what's useful for them, regardless of their quality of life. You also tell them their assets have to be "useful". Would you take away the cigarette from a dying person?


By that point in their life it doesn't matter, but what I would do is just get rid of cigarettes in the first place. It's a fitting example to use cigarettes as a comparison to religion as both are toxic and useless.

Mar 24, 2011
The latest social-scientific research shows that religious people, especially those affiliated with a religious institution: 1- have a longer lifespan; 2- are more content with their lives.

That has nothing to do with being religious. It's a matter of socialization, either church groups or other forms of group interaction.

It doesn't matter what the group's common interest is - it could be playing Canasta, for all the difference it would make.

What's important is regular interaction with other people, feeling a sense of belonging and having an enjoyable time. This gives you a positive outlook on life which in turn leads to statistically increased longevity.

Mar 24, 2011
Does it really matter that *organized* religion is going extinct if people still believe at just as much general BS as ever?

Mar 24, 2011
Of course: It's the terminus technicus law abiding and decently living scientists of the 19th century invented to circumscribe things known today as dildo.
No. Take look at the links. Pregnant females shapes are not dildoes.

You obviously ain't no grrl.
And you obviously still don't have a clue. Look at the links. Yes, there is one that is clearly a dildo but a fat pregnant female is no dildo and it is a very standard figure of the type.

Sometimes I am dense but not this time. Yes I did manage to read the entire Bored of the Rings the first time without quite accepting the fact that Bilbo Baggins had become Dildo Bugger and they meant it. I had not yet heard what bugger meant or I might not have failed to figure it out.

Then again I read the entire Lord of the Rings thinking Grandlaff to myself instead of Gandalf. I plead artistic license. It sounds better my way even if it doesn't fit his personality.

Ethelred

Mar 24, 2011
a fat pregnant female is no dildo


Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I'll just shut up.

Mar 24, 2011
Of your cigarettes or of their cigarettes?

Touche!

It's a fitting example of the clash between those who want to command and restrict the thinking, speaking, and behaving of others
and those who want to cultivate peaceful diversity.


I am all for peaceful diversity but when those peoples thinking has no basis in truth or reason then I am against it. It is all to apparent why religion exists and unfortunate that so many people are taken advantage of in such a way as to exploit fundamental questions of humans (moreso questions arisen from having some sort of intelligence) as purpose/what happens when we die/how did we come to be?

Mar 24, 2011
"Once science theories begin to include religion will surveys show a different trend."

That's right! If it weren't for that darn science, everyone would believe Christianity! What a wacko...

The only reason Christianity took off in the first place was when Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity should be the main religion and punished those who didn't convert. Before that, Christianity was just a backwards, despised, and SMALL religion. If it took the threat of death to cause Christianity to become mainstream and something as basic as reason (science) can cause so many to abandon it, one may begin to wonder the truth of it.

Mar 24, 2011
"The only reason Christianity took off in the first place was when Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity should be the main religion and punished those who didn't convert."

what?
how many humans have been punished for not converting to the norm of their leader?
science is next you know

it is the hands of foolishness that twist something powerful to abuse the meek and simple minded

all men are corrupt (me & you)

we are all babies in the grand scheme and our feelings direct us down the wrong path often enough

for you and me its a bad day because of a bad moment and we get put in jail or lose a job or get caught lying about something we would not have previously

for leaders those same bad days mean many dead and decades of fallout for mass amounts of people
but the gun needs a hand
and the truth lies in a persons actions and words and the actions words on all the web pages are high votes for sarcastic wit and who has the best insult

science = new religion = no love/respect

Mar 24, 2011
Does it really matter that *organized* religion is going extinct if people still believe at just as much general BS as ever?


Ehm, some people might find peace/security/happiness in thinking of a higher power/being. Not everyone knows how the microwave works. Sadly we still live in that kind of era.

Mar 24, 2011
A point to all of us:
There is no point in spouting any of this at each other. We have all obviously made up our minds whichever side of this issue we land on. Quoting famous people, famous books etc is not going to change anyones mind here.

Back to the actual article, I went to the source and read the paper. Besides the fact that it uses a lot of math that I really have no idea about, I think I understood some of the basic assumptions that were made. Obviously when doing any calculation you have to make assumptions, but its an unfortunately hot topic. My concerns with the assumptions made are mostly with the data sets used, they are of western countries, all wealthy. The calcs assume only 2 possibilities, no affiliation or affiliation. I don't think they include ties with countries that are not similar to themselves (if country A is like calculated, but across the border is country B which is 100% Muslim then what?)

Mar 24, 2011
science = new religion

use science to create GMO's and pharmaceuticals

patent those modified elements because you cannot patent natural elements

show people "studies" that those patented GMO's and pharmaceuticals are required to live a healthy life
embed your corporate board members into gov law making positions and viversa to keep their money making/legal machine running

suppress the "educated scientific" minded population with these things created by science and ignore the natural things that are even more effective

god bless war medicine and having hospitals around most corners in the US
but standard practice is a joke of drug dealing and our diets are slowly killing us because GMO's are forced into our system by law

Monsanto Corn anyone?

perhaps you need some drug treatment for that brain cancer you got from your cell phone and bluetooth

by the time its proven the profits are already spent and another game is being played

corrupted gov hurts/kills you

does a J Witness?

Mar 24, 2011
Also it doesn't take into account an overall global tie of world views and situations effecting those of other nations.

I am also unsure if they modeled anything with large effects on people, ie Natural disasters, new scientific discoveries.

Basically the paper assumes if everything stays close to the same, then that is what is probable.
It is a group theory calculation, so basically they applied it to Mac vs. PC, and that game can change easily, flipping the results. I bet data shows right now a huge growth in Mac users. But if some company other than Apple creates the next big tech idea then that advantage could slide away. Not that that mirrors the Religion debate, but it is an example of how simple the rules were in their paper.

Mar 24, 2011
... those same scientist proclaim their theories as being the absolute truth ...


You didn't actually attend your high school science classes, did you?

Science never proclaims anything to be absolute truth. That's why
even well accepted theories like gravity or conservation of energy are called "theory" - not because anyone doubts them, but because in principle everything should be falsifiable.

That's the real difference between science and religion, of course. Science is evidence based - if you find contradictory evidence, you must change your theory.

Religion is faith based. You start with a conclusion, look for supporting evidence and if you happen to find contradictory evidence (there's always lots, since most religions are just the fantasies of bronze age, animal sacrificing goat herders), you just talk ignore it or make up even more ridiculous fantasies to explain it away.

Mar 24, 2011
fantastic news - welcome to the 21st century - we will need new zealots - but saying goodbye to all the current myths remains a postive sign - I like the new age stuff like Celo Green and his tenets.

Yeah, like bringing science and religion back together where it began.

Mar 24, 2011
fantastic news - welcome to the 21st century - we will need new zealots - but saying goodbye to all the current myths remains a postive sign - I like the new age stuff like Celo Green and his tenets.

Yeah, like bringing science and religion back together where it began.

One supplanted the other. Religion did not begin science. Science is a refinement of philosophy, religion is a refinement of philosophy. One deals with the unknowable, the other with the quantifiable. THey are not akin, alike, or complimentary. They are dynamically opposed based upon our available body of knowledge.

Mar 24, 2011
Idan what he is referring to is that many scientists, well probably more the media, do not bother to use the word theory, and we all know that the media will use a shocking headline to grab your attention.

Religion being faith based is the core of the religion. It is not a problem, it is the intension. If God tapped you on the shoulder and said hey Idan, here I am, look at this and did a whole bunch of miracles, like popping 2 supermodels out of nowhere for you, then you would have no problem. But God also wouldn't be giving you the free will that he gave us.

Take it this way, if Stephen Hawkings said I want to make you the top Astorphys in the world before I die, here I wrote this thesis, submit it, and here are 20 speeches for you to give, here is everything for you to get your doctorate. They gave you your doctorate etc, you never learned the material. Are you a doctor of physics? Sure on paper, but really?

Its easy to dismiss something you don't examine be it God or evolution

Mar 24, 2011
@kingsix
suppress the "educated scientific" minded population with these things created by science and ignore the natural things that are even more effective

god bless war medicine and having hospitals around most corners in the US
but standard practice is a joke of drug dealing and our diets are slowly killing us because GMO's are forced into our system by law

Monsanto Corn anyone?
See? THIS is poetry. Dyldyo thinks incomplete sentences and no caps imparts a deeper sense of veracity.
There is no point in spouting any of this at each other. We have all obviously made up our minds whichever side of this issue we land on.
Not so! As ye are enslaved, so can ye be liberated. As ye doubt, so can ye be saved from the addiction to Epiphany.

Many people visit science sites because they know in their hearts that religions offer only palliation. We discover how to save ourselves by LOOKING, not by refusing to look. Obviously.

Mar 24, 2011
If God tapped you on the shoulder and said hey Idan, here I am, look at this and did a whole bunch of miracles, like popping 2 supermodels out of nowhere for you, then you would have no problem.
As god does not exist, this is something that would not ever happen.
Its easy to dismiss something you don't examine be it God or evolution
We HAVE examined the god of your religions. Your books are full of lies. Your miracles have all been disproven. Further, your religions seem tailor-made to serve heretofore essential sociopolitical functions which makes their artifice seem undeniable.

And religions imperil the world by their insistance on outreproducing all others of their kind, and taking what they have, and killing to get it.

The closer we look at religions the worse they seem, and the more certain we become that they are ALL a danger to our continued survival. Amen(hotep).

Mar 24, 2011
Otto, I think it was clear that I was referring to me, you, and the others that are constantly posting back and forth. And yes you are not the only one to post in verse, but you do seem more intelligent than most. Too often people post like that in attempt to hide what they are lacking.

And I would point out that science offers only knowledge to the self. Yes that is great, I love science and totally believe that it is worth while to invest heavily in new discoveries. Since the dawn of time, even before scientific method man has been seeking to understand the world around him, and I include myself in that.

I think Faith offers far more than you give it credit, but it is not so easily grasped as science from a website. It is not a tragedy that people look, but it is a tragedy when people refuse to look not only to, but also beyond the cold surface of science.

Mar 24, 2011
And why does logic and reason and scientific inquiry seem 'cold' to you? People watch disney movies and then are offended when they see wild animals in the woods and they dont come over to chat.

The world is what is, not what we may want it to be. This is comforting, it is reassuring, it means we are not subject to the caprice of some vain and vengeful god but that we have the HOPE of real security through understanding and mastery of our environment.

Science is hope and peace. It is courage, it is strength, it is acceptance, it is salvation. It is Maturity. Religions promise us all these things but we know now they are all lies.

Mar 24, 2011
Otto, now you are showing the weakness behind your arguments. A hypoth. question should be easily answered. It was not to prove the existence of God, it was merely to help other get a clearer understanding of the essence of the word faith.

Your type of talk about religion is what endangers the world, as a lack of understanding and recognition that I deserve the right to believe whatever I want, and so do you.
Your types of comments only prove that you are indeed among the group of individuals, on both sides of the argument, who delight in causing conflict between the sides, rather than peaceful co-existence.
One thing you need to realize is that I, and believers like me really couldn't care if you choose not to believe. I care that everyone has an opp. and they will live and die with their decisions.
In the end, I and others are firm in our belief. If it ends up that I'm wrong, then I lived life well and I am no worse off.
I will die knowing I never hurt anyone with my belief.

Mar 24, 2011
ghostotto your sig reads

"Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. Rom12:19"

the scripture actually says to give way to his wrath for he will avenge
why would he be wrathful?
it would be your type of attitude and lack of any love or tolerance

many have chosen wrath and embraced their own selfish desires
I used to be one of them

but how much you have in common with me regarding the great things on this website will not enter your mind voluntarily because it is corrupted and focused on indifference
precisely the path those evil religious murders took in the past and today - which many here would speak out against

as for me I must be tolerant and would not ever attack you or support attacking you or any of his other creations

it is an obligation because he is tolerant of me being a foolish - blink of an eye existence

tolerance is gods love and a benefit to you and me

Mar 24, 2011

I will die knowing I never hurt anyone with my belief.


Well, that depends an the nature and the practice of your belief, and the organisational structure you participate in, now, doesn't it?

If you are, say, a fundamentalist christian, campaigning against homosexual rights in a rich western country, are you hurting anyone?

If you support an organisation that proclaims contraception and 'safe sex' a sin, thereby directly contributing to the spread of aids, and untold suffering - are you hurting anyone then?

And they are just two simple examples from a groups who probably think their faith "harmless", not even mentioning any of the more violent and visible manifestations of "harmless faith" that abound in the world today.

Mar 24, 2011
the scripture actually says to give way to his wrath for he will avenge
why would he be wrathful?
it would be your type of attitude and lack of any love or tolerance
-snore. And yet elsewhere in the bible we find innumerable examples of an impotent god demanding that his subjects do his revenging for him on canaanites, philistines, sodomites, apostates, etc.

Try this one:
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
...
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
...
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

-What your god is SAYING is that, as these things are all inevitable, there is a PROPER time and place for all of them.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.

-EVERYTHING is appropriate at the Proper Time. You be peaceful all the time, and be martyred according to someone elses agenda. Your Destiny.

Mar 24, 2011
Very true Paulie, Have I said anywhere that I love the governmental structure of religion and think that the control that these groups try to wield over us is a good thing?
The answer to that is no, in a private message to Otto, I pointed out one area where a governing body on a religion would be good, and that is Extremist Islam, where small town Imam's are capable to declare the word of Allah to meet their own desires. Same is true for that dolt in Florida who has his Church preaching hate.

My faith does nothing like that. I do not campaign against homosexuals, I don't think safe sex is bad. I also try to live by what the bible says. Judge not lest ye be judged. I am a firm believer that God doesn't see scales of sin, that to God, Hitlers horrible acts look as bad as me lying. My faith is between me and God, you are not involved, neither is the Pope or the pastor I listen to on Sunday morning.

Mar 24, 2011
Otto your error is in looking at Ecclesiastes as a book of fact or as God telling us something.
You conveniently skipped vs. 9, 10, and after 11
9-What does the worker gain from his toil?
10-I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
12 and onward - I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toilthis is the gift of God.

Meaning - your destiny is up to you. Don't waste time with things that don't matter.
This is a Jewish book of Widsom Otto

Mar 24, 2011
Your type of talk about religion is what endangers the world, as a lack of understanding and recognition that I deserve the right to believe whatever I want, and so do you.
Uh huh. And so do nazis (except in france). It is what religionists DO because of their beliefs, which is the danger. One gen preaches love of god and the next takes it to mean hatred of those who do not:
http://www.youtub...HVEGnYD8

This gentleman says it so much better than I:
http://www.youtub...ure=fvsr

-Religionists may at some point come to realize that, had they been born into another culture, they would be thinking and doing and believing the exact same things as their enemies now are. They may come to believe that, given the same circumatances of endemic strife and conflict caused by overpopulation, that their beliefs would be compelling them to commit atrocities against their neighbors. Because its in the bible. God says its ok, at the PROPER TIME.

Mar 24, 2011
"-EVERYTHING is appropriate at the Proper Time. You be peaceful all the time, and be martyred according to someone else's agenda."

most do go fishing for bits and pieces to support his agenda regardless of the content

I fish for his agenda

so you are quoting Solomon who was so wise the Queen of Sheba herself traveled many miles to meet him and gave herself to him so he fell short of gods glory by giving in to his own desires

Solomon was not just any man but a man who had everything he wanted and more

his life lesson shows we are all vulnerable to our own desires and are warned about them

steady/daily meditation by taking in his word protects us from these situations - wear the spiritual armor

science has no spiritual armor - it is a variable understanding that does not span time

the quote on your sig is still wrong

and I see no need for martyrdom since we all die and an earthly resurrection is my hope
so is your refinement so I pile coals on your head

Mar 24, 2011
I am not somewhere I can watch those video, but I promise i will later.
I will not offer any argument that people do bad, misguided things because of their beliefs, its obviously true they do. However your solution to that problem seems to be to yell at people that they are ignorant because of their beliefs.
It is not their beliefs that are wrong, it is their actions. That is why the way to correct them is through understanding not confrontation.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).

Mar 24, 2011
I fish for his agenda
no you fish for your own agenda
Sheba herself traveled many miles to meet him and gave herself to him so he fell short of gods glory by giving in to his own desires
god warned israel about kings didnt he
a man who had everything he wanted and more
no he was an honest man who lamented his powerlessness over the future disposition of all that he had established
his life lesson shows we are all vulnerable to our own desires and are warned about them
no his lesson is that in order to ensure a continuing civilization Leaders must decide when things happen and how they turn out which is the jist of the rest of the chapter
science has no spiritual armor
and needs none
the quote on your sig is still wrong
sez you
and I see no need for martyrdom
not your choice as youve surrendered your security to someone else
so I pile coals on your head
bill maher said this would happen are they radioactive

Mar 24, 2011
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this... Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).
OF COURSE. The first commandment- accept god or else you are evil and condemned. Religions commandeered simple tribal law and declared that their gods were the only source of it, which is a lie. Religions declare their moral integrity and then hide behind it in order to cause adherents to commit the most horrendous atrocity with gods blessing.
science has no spiritual armor
The 'spiritual' does not exist. Therefore it is no source of anything including morality, conscience, decency, integrity, etc. These things preexisted religion and come from the need for tribal cohesion and the advantages these qualities could provide in conflicts against other tribes over resources.

Mar 24, 2011
Otto, your view is as simplistic as those who would say that the Bible is 100% fact. Yours is a obviously a world view in which you, Otto, are the most important person.
You offer no explanation of what you think is important, only offer refusal criticism about what others find important. You never offer any real world reasoning behind your statements beside saying that ideas are out dated. You blatantly say that a spiritual side to life is non existent, which cannot be proved or disproved. Moreover you take pieces of arguments that can semi-support your facts, and leave out the next sentence that contradicts your point.
We are commanded to do to things, Love God which makes sense from the Christian view that God created and wants a personal relationship with each of us, and Love each other, which you don't seem to have a problem with in concept, but seem to be unwilling to recognize as the core tenant behind a religion, even if it is one that people tend not to follow.

Mar 24, 2011
From Matt10:
"32 "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven."

-Translation: love god or suffer the consequences.

"34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

"'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-
36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

37 "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."

-Translation: NO ONE will be spared from the consequences, which are sword-based.

Mar 24, 2011
You never offer any real world reasoning
I SAID that ending religionist-inspired overpopulation and the resultant conflict and oppression is important. I SAID that ending religionist assault on scientific inquiry is important. These are REAL-WORLD problems caused by religion.
You blatantly say that a spiritual side to life is non existent, which cannot be proved or disproved.
Evidence of your spiritual never-neverland or of its effect on the world is notably in absence. Evidence for misuse of the concept for nefarious purposes is in abundance.
Moreover you take pieces of arguments that can semi-support your facts, and leave out the next sentence that contradicts your point.
I include only the salient parts needed to make my point just as you religionists ALWAYS do. My points make a lot more sense than any of yours do. The ecc verses you cited above have nothing to do with what I was trying to say, and do not discount it in any way.

Otto, you're a wingnut, and your god is nonexistant.

Mar 24, 2011
I'm pretty sure Otto is an atheist unless I'm illiterate.

Mar 24, 2011
A point to all of us:
There is no point in spouting any of this at each other. We have all obviously made up our minds whichever side of this issue we land on. Quoting famous people, famous books etc is not going to change anyones mind here.


You just wanted us to know what we're doing is pointless before you jump right back in? That was thoughtful of you.

Mar 24, 2011
You blatantly say that a spiritual side to life is non existent, which cannot be proved or disproved.
You cannot justify belief in something that cannot be demonstrated. If you have zero evidence for it, then yours is not a belief; it's a fantasy.

Secondly, let's approach this scientifically and consider in which manner and at what locus the "spirit" or "soul" contacts, integrates with, or modulates the human brain (which is of course the substrate and substance of the human mind.) If there is such a thing as "soul", then by interacting with the body it becomes itself measurable, analyzable, scientifically detectable, and material. Ever since Descartes tried to find the Spirit in the pineal gland [snicker], science has only succeeded in uncovering and detailing the Physics and Chemistry of cognition -- but never in detecting anything "supernatural" about any of it.

Your beliefs are hollow, absent evidence, wholly unjustifiable, and in contradiction with objective reality.

"I'm pretty sure Otto is an atheist unless I'm illiterate."

Sorry, I just read his latest comment. It was the foam-flecked delivery that put me off.

Mar 24, 2011
We are commanded to do to things, Love God which makes sense from the Christian view that God created and wants a personal relationship with each of us

I loved ghod (that's just how i spell the word) like that once. It was pleasant at first then he became "busy hands ghod" and I don't cotton to that.

"Faith is a fact...I mean facet...I almost said faith is a fact...hahaha" George Bluth, Sr.

Mar 24, 2011
Otto, now you are showing the weakness behind your arguments. A hypoth. question should be easily answered.
If one is to insist that people require a god to have a purpose in life, then they must explain the purpose of their god first. So riddle me this, What is your god's purpose?

If you're a believer, you have to ask yourself, do you believe in God, or do you simply believe that the people who introduced you to religion were telling the truth? If you aren't sure, that's reasonable. If you're sure you believe in God, then perhaps the hypothetical should originate and end within the mind of the adherant.

Mar 24, 2011


"So? Do you have any proof that they achieved scientific discoveries because of their Christianity and not because some other factor?"

A 'Closed Mind' would have no place in my Laboratory!

"Here is an example of your logic : Nazi had many breakthrough in many different areas (for example: rocket sceince), so Nazism helped science greatly. If it wasn't for Nazism modern science would simply not exist.
"

As was disclosed in East German Archives: A group of 'Nazi' Scientists risked their lives in choosing NOT to study the Splitting of the Atom . . . they feared for such knowledge in the hands of a madman!
Would that Our Scientists have been possessed of such 'Enlightened' benevolence!
I maintain that Teller 'Out-Gunned' Oppenheimer, who, upon witnessing what his efforts had wrought, referenced a Quote:
"I am become death, Destroyer of Worlds!"

Roy J Stewart,
Phoenix AZ, USA


Mar 24, 2011
I will now go through every criticism since my last post and offer my answers.

First Otto quoting Matthew 10.
While you may think Jesus is saying
"love god or suffer the consequences"
, he is explaining that each individual has to make a choice, this is not a threat. The consequences are explained very plainly.

Verse 34-39 is Jesus explaining to the desciples what they will experience. Matthew 10 is title Jesus sends out the 12 for a reason.

34-39 can be simplified and trunkated to be
I didn't come to make your life easy, my coming will make things harder.
Relationships will turn sour because some will choose to follow me and others will not.
If a broken relationship or others not liking someone is enough to stop them from choosing to follow, then it will be too tough for them. The choice is yours, and that choice will affect your life to its root.

NO ONE will be spared from the consequences, which are sword-based

-This choice is important, don't take lightly

Mar 24, 2011
Otto maybe saying you never offer any real world reasoning was hasty. However often your rebuttals to others evidence is merely a flat out denyal such as your comment about the spiritual side of life not existing, or a reinterpretation of a particular bible verse which you understand the words but not what is behind them. Such as above about Matthew, or saying that King Solomon wasn't a powerful man who had all he desired and claiming he was an honest man who lamented his powerlessness.
Solomon by the way was a King, he had all the power he could have in his kingdom. What he lamented was the fact that all of his riches, power over others, concubines, and knowledge could not satisfy him.

Mar 24, 2011
Evidence of the spiritual world.
http://www.physor...h=prayer
while it is not the best evidence it is there. The issue that science and non-believers have with the spiritual worlds is that, it is an individual experience, and that it can easily be sluffed off as hormones or some other thing. Keep in mind that I don't think that everything that God does he just pops in as magic, rather that God is fully capable of using the natural world to influence us and show us his essence.

Terrible Bohr about this conversation being pointless. Its is, I never said that I won't have the conversation, I am just pointing out we should have the reasonable expectation that nothing we say will influence eachother.

Mar 24, 2011
Pink Elephant:
If you have zero evidence for it, then yours is not a belief; it's a fantasy.
A belief is that which one holds to be true, while a fantasy is something that one dreams of or wishes was true. And as I am the one who holds it, it is not up to you if it is a belief or a fantasy.
A common problem with the scientific trying to examine that which cannot be measured by instrument and locate something that doesn't require a home. The soul is often used by anyone and everyone to talk about the essence of an individual. I personally doubt there is a peice of matter, an energy even that would equal what people imagine to soul to be. Rather it is probably better understood as an idea. On the otherhand for something of a more scientific fantasy about the soul, maybe our soul is located in a different dimension? Who knows, I don't pretend to. I don't understand, can't measure etc, other dimensions, but that doesn't mean they don't exist either.

Mar 24, 2011
Skeptic, thank-you. A solid question.
First off I think everyone would realise that this would be tough to explain outright. But I will try to get my theory across in the form of metaphor.
Suppose you are yourself but instead of being [your name] here on Earth you are a god, you have always existed, always will exist and you have the power to do anything you want within your existance. You are in a black void, but you are you, so you have imagination etc. Logically you have 2 options, do nothing forever or fill that void. Your universe may not come out like ours but thats not the point. Realistically eventually you would change the void into something else.

Ok, now suppose you make this place, I hypothesise that eventually you are going to fill it with life, as shape is rather boring after a good part of eternity. Maybe you would chose to make life capabe of thinking for themselves, maybe you wouldn't.
Basically the idea is that if God exists creation would happen eventually.

Mar 24, 2011
As for whether I believe in God or just what I was taught. Considering that for a number of years I was very confident that God didn't exist, and my own research, reading, listening to others opinions and reflection was the reason I came to my conclusion, yes it was my decision and not an accepting of doctrine.
If you're sure you believe in God, then perhaps the hypothetical should originate and end within the mind of the adherant
If what you mean is that my beliefs reside in my head and thats where they should stay, then I would respond that all believers have a duty to share the message, to throw seeds on to the ground. And as the bible says those seeds will land in different types of soil, fertile ground where it will grow, ground covered by weeds that will stop it from growing or a rocky pathways where it will not even sink in.

Finally done answering. And think I am done for the night.

Mar 24, 2011
A belief is that which one holds to be true, while a fantasy is something that one dreams of or wishes was true.

There really is no significant difference. The only reason why you would 'know' a fantasy to be true is because your really, really wish it to be so, therefore you convince yourself that it is true. Whereas a 'soft' fantasy is the type of fiction which isn't quite powerful enough to reach critical mass and to overcome your critical thinking faculties.

A common problem with the scientific trying to examine that which cannot be measured by instrument and locate something that doesn't require a home.

It's not a scientific problem, because it simply isn't a scientific question.

more...

Mar 24, 2011
The soul is often used by anyone and everyone to talk about the essence of an individual. I personally doubt there is a peice of matter, an energy even that would equal what people imagine to soul to be.

The soul is simply a synonym for the brain and a lifetime's worth of experiences. Allusions to anything more mystical or spiritual is bunk.

On the otherhand for something of a more scientific fantasy about the soul, maybe our soul is located in a different dimension?

I assure you, that isn't any more scientific.

First off I think everyone would realise that this would be tough to explain outright. But I will try to get my theory across in the form of metaphor.

That's the problem with verbiage and metaphors. They're not precise and fail to define anything scientifically. That's why there's a zillion interpretations of the bible.

more...

Mar 24, 2011
you are a god, you have always existed, always will exist and you have the power to do anything you want within your existance.

That's a bit of a stretch. On what basis would I make this assumption?

You are in a black void, but you are you, so you have imagination etc.

Hmmm, I think I would have gone insane being in a sensory deprivation tank for all eternity. Under those conditions, where would my 'imagination' come from?

Logically you have 2 options, do nothing forever or fill that void. Your universe may not come out like ours but thats not the point.

Don't try bringing in logic now, we're way past that point! So, if I've existed for eternity, why would wait so long before filling the void?

Realistically eventually you would change the void into something else.

Realistically? Really?

more...

Mar 24, 2011
Basically the idea is that if God exists creation would happen eventually.

Um, okaaay, but you're full of crap.

Considering that for a number of years I was very confident that God didn't exist, and my own research, reading, listening to others opinions and reflection was the reason I came to my conclusion,

So you went backwards - from skepticism to mysticism. I'd love to know what 'research' turned you away from reason.

Mar 25, 2011
@Kingsix,

I'm not going to address everything you wrote, just this bit about souls: either the soul interacts with the body, or it does not.

If it does not interact in any way with the material world in general or with the body in particular or with the brain specifically, what's the point of postulating it? In this case, it explains nothing, models nothing, and contributes no understanding.

On the other hand, if it does interact with the material world, then instruments should detect some disturbance of state, some energy input, some phase change somewhere that cannot be causally traced to any other material mechanism. In other words, we should be observing violations of energy conservation, and violations of causality. In other words, we should be observing "magic".

But all we're observing, is that the body in general and the brain in particular are just collections of cells, which are just collections of molecules. The brain is a biocomputer. And Physics reigns over it all.

Mar 25, 2011
In Australia I am always pissed off when census time come around and there is no place to say I am atheist. The question about religion is 'what religion are you?' Maybe they expect me to say "other" but that would not be true because atheist means I believe all religion is nuts. I can only write a profanity to the above effect. To Australian Census Bureau:- You need to reframe the question so that it can be answered honestly.

Mar 25, 2011
Since the very dawn of our species we have been slaves to superstition and self perpetuating ignorance. To be free now, after only a few centuries of reason and science makes me very grateful indeed; that I was born into this time.

We can turn our minds toward creating a heaven for ourselves in reality.

Mar 25, 2011
Pharao Echnaton was the first in human history to introduce the thesis of mono theism. He earned himself the hatred of the complete priest caste at that time because he broke their racket and put them out of business.
Proir to this point in time all poeples hat a god for just about every imaginable occasion; including the Isralites. Was it pure coincidence that Moses, who grew up in the courts of Pharao some 150 years after Echnotons death, revived the same thesis but instead of Aton named his god Jehova?
All three world religions have been drived from Abrahams legacy or even further back from Echnaton.
In the eyes of every fundamentalistic believer it is blasphemy to speak the truth: Not God created man it was man who created god!

Mar 25, 2011
Solomon by the way was a King, he had all the power he could have in his kingdom. What he lamented was the fact that all of his riches, power over others, concubines, and knowledge could not satisfy him.
You believe the interpretation of bible allegory that brings you to the conclusion that it can provide you with eternal life. It cannot. If you read ecclesiastes the way it was written, Solomon say 'everything is meaningless', not vanity as in the kjv. He is proud of what he has created and is powerless to prevent it's misuse and decay after his death. The book emphasizes his wisdom and sense of justice, not his greed.

The verses about proper times for inevitable things to occur, is written as a song, sung to Solomon and all Leaders as the Solution to this dilemma, of how to preserve the Order they create for future gens.

Forget about heaven and read the book again. This is what it SAYS.

Mar 25, 2011
A friend of mine from Vienna tells me the data about Austria may be biased because a relatively new .5% tax that Catholics have to pay (money later on delivered to the Catholic Church) allegedly influenced people's decision to declare their religious affiliation. It may be worth checking how much such artificial biases affected data in all the countries in the study. Hearing from knowledgeable people in those countries may be value added to this forum.

Mar 25, 2011
Solomon says he tried all the earthly pleasures but they were meaningless to him. His power and wisdom were useless to him in maintaining the Order he created, his kingdom, the only thing he CARED about, once he was gone. But the Solution is HVAC in ecc3; the acceptance of all the inevitable facets of human existence, and the necessity that they be Planned to occur at the Proper Time. In this way they can be beautiful indeed as he says, and Beneficial, and proper. This is the Key to the preservation of Order and the salvation of humanity.

Now, for a description of how Leaders use this Planning to gain enormous power, read the story of Joseph and pharoah and how their acceptance of the Unavoidable led them to own all of Egypt. The bible is about nothing BUT Empire-building, true Salvation.

Mar 25, 2011
Ha spellchecker-HVAC is 'given'
-The People who wrote the bible cared nothing about what happened to you after you were dead. They cared everything about what you do while you're alive, and They promise you anything, including immortality and wish-granting, to get you to do what they want, in the establishment and maintenance of Order. In the past they needed gods for this purpose; science can now promise these same things, and might just one day provide them (for Leaders, not us). Perhaps one day there will be no one but Leaders left. The victorious Tribe owns the Valley of the Shadow.

Mar 25, 2011
All three world religions have been drived from Abrahams legacy or even further back from Echnaton...Not God created man it was man who created god!
Indeed, and Leaders saw that it was good. Good for Shepherding the flocks. The rod to punish, the staff to direct.

Thoth is Enoch, the grandfather of Noah and the One who established a Priesthood, the Chosen Ones, the Keepers of Knowledge throughout the terrible flood of humanity upon the earth...

"Thoth was often considered to be the heart - which, according to the ancient Egyptians, is the seat of intelligence or the mind - and tongue of the sun god Ra, as well as the means by which Ra's will was translated into speech. [shekinah] He was also related to the Logos of Plato [Jesus] and the mind of God. He played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as MAINTAINING the universe"

-Could it be any clearer? Enoch is prominent in freemason lore

Mar 25, 2011
Basically the idea is that if God exists creation would happen eventually.
Why? Human beings create because it brings pleasure, pride, reknown, or culminates in a future potential of any of the preceeding.

An all power being would not have these incentives.

This is a fundamental disconnect when one attempts to point out an all powerful creator being or beings. There is no gain for such a being. You've anthropomorphosized the concept of a deity. Using induction, this shows that the concepts of a creator being come from the mind of man, not from existence or evidence there of.

I hope this has clarified my stance. Even a benevolent god as depicted by the various faiths is too local, too overwhelming, and impossibly narrow minded. As a scientist I don't rule out the potential for a creation event. Mathematically there are some in the fields who believe we could create a Universe of some form using ever larger particle colliders. I do rule out the current depictions.

ACW
Mar 25, 2011
I once agreed with the quote that explains that religion is the opiate of the people, now I have refined my position. Religion is the placebo of the people.

Mar 25, 2011
I once agreed with the quote that explains that religion is the opiate of the people, now I have refined my position. Religion is the placebo of the people.
If you understtod the quote in it's original context, you would recognize that you haven't changed positions at all.

Marx didn't think religion was a drug. Most people harp on a single line from that page and insist that Marx had such a stance. The original in context:
Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.

Marx's stance was religion is a method to address sorrow. TB

Mar 25, 2011
[cont from above] Marx'[s saw religion as a method by which people addressed the hopelessness of life. That the promises of salvation or eternal bliss were a diversion to allow the oppression of people from political bodies (such as government, tax collectors, churches, etc). His statement is clear in context. Religion is the way in which some people make their own lives livable without demanding change in the systems in which we live. It hushes up the people who don't think the life we live is as good as it should be. His next lines are even clearer:
The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and cull the living flower.
Marx was big time into freedom of speech. Cue a marjon post about the evils of socialism.

ACW
Mar 25, 2011
I know of Marx and his writings. I just felt that clarification of his quote could be useful in light of the whirlwind of earlier posts.