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crookedspiral

Richard Dawkins and Christianity

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I'mConvinced
4 hours ago, Illyrius said:

Well the demise of morals and sanity follows nicely the rise of atheism and demise of religion. Nothing new under the sun in historical terms. The civilization is dying and Dawkins is singing like the Nero was singing watching the Rome burning.

It might not fit your narrative but you probably want to look up the evidence on that claim.

It turns out your religion, or lack thereof, has absolutely nothing to do with how 'moral' you are.  Just google the good Samaritan experiment.

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eight bits

In any case, the tweet

https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/976474848330469376

is a comment on a Guardian Article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/christianity-non-christian-europe-young-people-survey-religion

about a public opinion survey analysis whose report is available here for no charge:

https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/research/centres/benedict-xvi/docs/2018-mar-europe-young-people-report-eng.pdf

The report was prepared by Roman-Catholic-affiliated organizations for use at a synod of Catholic bishops. The underlying data come from the ongoing European Social Survey, based on its "waves" of 2014 and 2016. Methodological notes are included in the report already linked; the ESS has its own website,

http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/

Sample sizes vary widely among countries, ranging from 198 to 1307, averaging 629. That's small for precise work at the individual or comparative country level. Israel is a European country for survey purposes.

As to the tweet, it is unclear who are the "we" about to celebrate that few young (16-29) Europeans affiliate with a specific religion, nor what specific "something worse" Dawkins dreads finding. Except for his having called attention to a second-hand report of a descriptive analysis of a third party's survey data to support the internal administrative purposes of the Roman Catholic Church, it is unclear to me what Richard Dawkins has to do with the subject.

Heaven forfend that the OP would discuss trends in religious adherence without fingering somebody as ... what? Why is this a Dawkins story?

 

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Illyrius
1 minute ago, I'mConvinced said:

It might not fit your narrative but you probably want to look up the evidence on that claim.

It turns out your religion, or lack thereof, has absolutely nothing to do with how 'moral' you are.  Just google the good Samaritan experiment.

I would not like to go into a loop with online sources which will back up or negate my claim, but i will only say that if the person is less concentrated on material gain or irresponsible pleasures, it makes that person more strong in character, and on the other hand if the person is taught that he is a piece of meat in an universe without meaning to me the logical consequence of such a worldview is that such a notion really doesn't have a good effect on a moral strenght of an individual.

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XenoFish
9 hours ago, khol said:

I dont know...not anymore. 2000yrs ago yeah. Developments in science are pushing the boundries of our knowledge. Creating new gods to replace old ones are a thing of the past

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_new_religious_movements

A lot on the list look like the same cereal in a different box. But people do create new takes on old ideas. 

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XenoFish
5 minutes ago, Illyrius said:

I would not like to go into a loop with online sources which will back up or negate my claim, but i will only say that if the person is less concentrated on material gain or irresponsible pleasures, it makes that person more strong in character, and on the other hand if the person is taught that he is a piece of meat in an universe without meaning to me the logical consequence of such a worldview is that such a notion really doesn't have a good effect on a moral strenght of an individual.

You are a piece of organic matter in a universe with no true definitive meaning or purpose, as it doesn't exist. The only option that you have is how to live your life. How you define the meaning of your finite existence. If your spiritual beliefs make you a jerk to everyone who doesn't share your view, are you any better than those you perceive to be your 'enemy'?

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I'mConvinced
12 minutes ago, Illyrius said:

I would not like to go into a loop with online sources which will back up or negate my claim, but i will only say that if the person is less concentrated on material gain or irresponsible pleasures, it makes that person more strong in character, and on the other hand if the person is taught that he is a piece of meat in an universe without meaning to me the logical consequence of such a worldview is that such a notion really doesn't have a good effect on a moral strenght of an individual.

I can give accredited sources for this info, the experiment hasn't just been run once.

Believe what you wish but the actual studies show that while people of faith talk a good game they are no more moral than those without.

 

 

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Illyrius
Just now, I'mConvinced said:

I can give accredited sources for this info, the experiment hasn't just been run once.

Believe what you wish but the actual studies show that while people of faith talk a good game they are no more moral than those without.

 

 

Most of today's "people of faith" are more materialistic than atheists.. in a true sense religion and spirituality on the west is dead. What remained is only a cute custom of "im gonna go to church" or some new age crap.. we live in a completely materialistic culture and modern polytheism of celebrity divinites and anticulture associated with it is something which has destroyed a moral tissue of society along time ago.

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Farmer77
17 minutes ago, Illyrius said:

I would not like to go into a loop with online sources which will back up or negate my claim, but i will only say that if the person is less concentrated on material gain or irresponsible pleasures, it makes that person more strong in character, and on the other hand if the person is taught that he is a piece of meat in an universe without meaning to me the logical consequence of such a worldview is that such a notion really doesn't have a good effect on a moral strenght of an individual.

So what you're saying is your book says that following it makes gives you morals and not following it doesn't.  

Its cool for you to believe so (if maybe harmful to your personal development) but please don't try and convince others who are outside of your religious indoctrinating of the same - and dear gawd please don't claim your thought process is based on logic. 

 

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DieChecker
25 minutes ago, eight bits said:

So then is the OP a cherry pick, like Psyche told me, or is it a real comment, meant the way it was phrased.

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DieChecker
9 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

Believe what you wish but the actual studies show that while people of faith talk a good game they are no more moral than those without.

Unfortunately true. :(

I think possibly those who profess to be religious may feel more bad about it though... :lol:

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I'mConvinced
2 minutes ago, Illyrius said:

Most of today's "people of faith" are more materialistic than atheists.. in a true sense religion and spirituality on the west is dead. What remained is only a cute custom of "im gonna go to church" or some new age crap.. we live in a completely materialistic culture and modern polytheism of celebrity divinites and anticulture associated with it is something which has destroyed a moral tissue of society along time ago.

I'm unconvinced that we were more morally upstanding in the past and I'd need to see evidence for that claim.

Just have a quick read of this article, it does explain it quite well and references its sources:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/are-religious-people-more-moral-84560

I would even go so far as to say that there are no such things as 'good' morals because of their subjective nature.

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Illyrius
2 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

I'm unconvinced that we were more morally upstanding in the past and I'd need to see evidence for that claim.

Just have a quick read of this article, it does explain it quite well and references its sources:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/are-religious-people-more-moral-84560

I would even go so far as to say that there are no such things as 'good' morals because of their subjective nature.

i may agree with this point to some extent, church itself showed and still shows grotesquely immoral behaviour, and so called people of faith are no better. What i am saying that religion is a form of social control,but so is modern propaganda machine which is completely under a hold of globalistic/materialistic slavery agenda.

Before the church was manipulating in sucking the blood out of people now this role is left to global corporations.

About the nature of morals.. It is true that various groups of people have their own rules of morality.. but what is the basis of any morality if you follow the teaching which says that nothing makes sense and that everything around you is some sort of cosmic random fluke? If emotions are just material thing, if everything doesn't have some sort of higher meaning, what exactly makes us different than animals and why should we care about any sort of morality?

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DieChecker
12 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

I'm unconvinced that we were more morally upstanding in the past and I'd need to see evidence for that claim.

I'd suggest that we were more moral, but only because there was a lot more control over everyone. Everyone took going into the eternal fire a lot more seriously. People had a lot less control over their lives, unless they moved out into the frontier. Most people were veritable slaves to their work and their community.

I'm not saying that we need to go back to that, but there were some things, like tighter knit communities and inner-community sharing/helping/support that we just do not see as much in today's society.

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Farmer77
Just now, DieChecker said:

I'd suggest that we were more moral, but only because there was a lot more control over everyone.

Is that morality or fear though? I suppose the next question would be does that matter? 

1 minute ago, DieChecker said:

I'm not saying that we need to go back to that, but there were some things, like tighter knit communities and inner-community sharing/helping/support that we just do not see as much in today's society.

This is something I struggle with. I have zero common bond with my neighbors or even my community in general. Just about the only time in my life where that hasn't been the case was the couple of years when I was dirt ass poor due to my health and we lived in the cheapest housing we could find. All my neighbors and I were in the same boat so we had that common bond. 

Speaking of which if anyone knows of any small liberal communities with both a desert and a lake or river please let me know. :tu:

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eight bits
46 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

So then is the OP a cherry pick, like Psyche told me, or is it a real comment, meant the way it was phrased.

I really don't know. The questions at the end of my post are really questions. What the hell does Dawkins have to do with the research, except that he read about it in the newspaper?

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DieChecker
23 minutes ago, Farmer77 said:

Is that morality or fear though? I suppose the next question would be does that matter? 

I'd think both. For a long time religion has been about both. Do what is right... OR ELSE!!!! :devil:

Quote

This is something I struggle with. I have zero common bond with my neighbors or even my community in general. Just about the only time in my life where that hasn't been the case was the couple of years when I was dirt ass poor due to my health and we lived in the cheapest housing we could find. All my neighbors and I were in the same boat so we had that common bond. 

Speaking of which if anyone knows of any small liberal communities with both a desert and a lake or river please let me know. :tu:

It is something that I think the US lacks in today's world. I think if we were friends with our neighbors and our co-workers and (gasp!) our extended family... We'd all be a lot more tolerant of each other, and loving toward each other, instead of confrontational.and aggressive.

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DieChecker
6 minutes ago, eight bits said:

I really don't know. The questions at the end of my post are really questions. What the hell does Dawkins have to do with the research, except that he read about it in the newspaper?

Well, he can have an opinion. Was what was posted on twitter taken out of context? If so, then it was a cherry pick, I think. But, it seemed to me that he is saying that one religion isn't as bad as the other, which is not really a cherry pick.

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XenoFish
35 minutes ago, Farmer77 said:

Is that morality or fear though? I suppose the next question would be does that matter?

This is similar to how I think about being a good person.

(In general not a specific person)

Are you a good person because you can be or are you a good person because that's what faith requires?

Sure if your a good  either way, good results. However it's the meaning behind the actions that matter on a personal level. 

8 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

I'd think both. For a long time religion has been about both. Do what is right... OR ELSE!!!! :devil:

Then again if there is a 'heaven' are you only getting in because you put on a show of morality? Rather than any meaningful act of it? 

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DieChecker
24 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Then again if there is a 'heaven' are you only getting in because you put on a show of morality? Rather than any meaningful act of it? 

A good question. My opinion is that it (The modern framework of Christianity) appears to be set up to support the legalistic view. That if you do X Y Z, then you will be Saved. However, I believe that Jesus would have taught that your motivation for doing something is more important then the act itself. As an example... When the rich man came to him and said he followed all the laws, and what more could he do. And Jesus said, "give away all you have and follow me", and the man wouldn't... That seems to say that following the Spirit of Jesus's teachings is more important then the Law. The way into Heaven is through Jesus, but to that rich man Jesus said, "I never knew you.". Meaning he's not on track for the line to Heaven just yet.

It very well could be that very few are Saved and go on to Heaven (at least the First Heaven anyway), and that almost everyone else goes into storage (Hell/Pit/Hades/Tartarus). 

However, I do believe that Judgement Day is the "Get Out of Jail Free Card", of Christianity, and that is when mercy will save almost everyone. That rich man will again come before Jesus and Jesus will ask him, again, if he will follow him, and the rich man will say he does, and he'll go on into the New Heaven and New Earth.

Edited by DieChecker

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XenoFish
1 minute ago, DieChecker said:

A good question. My opinion is that it (The modern framework of Christianity) appears to be set up to support the legalistic view. That if you do X Y Z, then you will be Saved. However, I believe that Jesus would have taught that your motivation for doing something is more important then the act itself. As an example... When the rich man came to him and said he followed all the laws, and what more could he do. And Jesus said, "give away all you have and follow me", and the man wouldn't... That seems to say that following the Spirit of Jesus's teachings is more important then the Law. The way into Heaven is through Jesus, but to that rich man Jesus said, "I never knew you.". Meaning he's not on track for the line to Heaven just yet.

It very well could be that very few are Saved and go on to Heaven (at least the First Heaven anyway), and that almost everyone else goes into storage (Hell/Pit/Hades/Tartarus). 

However, I do believe that Judgement Day is the "Get Out of Jail Free Card", of Christianity, and that is when mercy will save almost everyone.

Yet this is through the subjective lens of faith. It kinda doesn't answer my question. Are you good because you have to be? Are you good because you want to be? Regardless of a god/no-god involved. The intention behind the act always plays a part. While there may be no unconscious guilt to a show of kindness. But the reasoning behind it may not be 'right'. However all of this is subjective so it's rather difficult to discuss.

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eight bits

DC

Quote

Well, he can have an opinion. Was what was posted on twitter taken out of context? If so, then it was a cherry pick, I think. But, it seemed to me that he is saying that one religion isn't as bad as the other, which is not really a cherry pick.

Could be. You'd need to bring in the "New Atheists'" reputation (whether deserved or not) for Islamophobia to reach that conclusion, though.

And he still doesn't say that any religion is better than another in any specific sense. It is possible that he meant that Christianity is more "European" than some other religion(s), whatever "European" might mean to him.

Or maybe he just meant that he and his fellow atheists have (almost) finished one part of the job of saving Europe from its superstitious past, and now the godless need to step up and provide institutions that implement and support that secular morality they speak so fondly of. The aftermaths of revolutions have been known to turn bloody or otherwise to disappoint the victors.

Usually, cherry picking involves making somebody seem to say something. God only knows what that tweet says beyond "Here's something interesting that I read recently; maybe we should think about what to do about this."

Sounds like a plan, eh?

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DieChecker
9 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Yet this is through the subjective lens of faith. It kinda doesn't answer my question. Are you good because you have to be? Are you good because you want to be? Regardless of a god/no-god involved. The intention behind the act always plays a part. While there may be no unconscious guilt to a show of kindness. But the reasoning behind it may not be 'right'. However all of this is subjective so it's rather difficult to discuss.

Do you want my individual opinion about myself?? I thought maybe you wanted the big picture answer.

Myself, I think I am "Good", because I want to be good. I value loving people, helping people, giving to others, teaching others.... I don't do it out of threat, but because I value those beliefs. I had those beliefs BEFORE I was a Christian, but I found that being a Christian meshed so well with what I already was, that there was no reason NOT to become a Christian. Some say that I am a cherry picker, in trying to teach the good of Christianity, but I believe that what people point out as the ugly of Christianity isn't necessarily Biblical, and doesn't mesh with what Jesus taught. Those who think Christianity teaches hate, or intolerance, or bigotry, or anger.... None of that is Biblical, and most are completely opposite of what Jesus is recorded as teaching. Further none of the Disciples taught violence, or hate, or anger (maybe some fear though...), as far as I know. Sure, some cherry picked quotes could be thrown my way, but even Biden dropped an F-bomb now and again. If the teaching is 95% good, do you discard it for the 5% that needs work?

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I'mConvinced
1 hour ago, Illyrius said:

If emotions are just material thing, if everything doesn't have some sort of higher meaning, what exactly makes us different than animals and why should we care about any sort of morality?

So here is my take on this.  I grew up in a Christian environment, I attended church every week, I was confirmed (named) by the church, baptised by the church and I even went to a catholic school to be educated by the church.  For a variety of reasons too long to go into I turned my back on the faith at the age of about 17.  I remember the moment I decided I could no longer believe the narrative, it was as if God disappeared in a 'puff of logic' just as Douglas Adams had so cannily written.

So I was free of my moral bonds and obligations to God and the Church, time to rampage right? Well no.  I considered what my loss of faith really meant and how that was going to change my life and came to the conclusion that it wasn't really going to change anything, except maybe give me a little more time back each week.  I didn't want to hurt those around me, I didn't want to 'take revenge', I did still want to work, I did still want a wife and child, I did still want a house and a bit of land to call my own.  I didn't suddenly think rape was acceptable or that murder was the way forward.  I still wanted a cohesive and functioning society within which to enjoy the things in life I saw as enjoyable.

This was the crux of it for me.  If you remove religion it turns out we still need a functioning society as we are still just social animals under it all.  We are happiest with others around us, working as part of a team towards common goals.  None of this requires that you understand the meaning of life, know God or have to understand morality on a deep and meaningful level.  These things are built right into us, they have to be in order for our species to survive. So you should care about your morality as far as it pertains to your survival and goals within the society you live - then beyond that as it pertains to our species as a whole.

If all truth be told, in the end, I am probably a more 'moral' person now than I ever was before.  I do good things now because I choose to and they benefit me, those around me and then society more generally and not because I think I'm being forced to under the threat of eternal damnation.  It actually makes me feel like a worthwhile human being right now rather than someone performing tricks for a treat in the afterlife.  This doesn't mean religion and ideology in general are worthless, far from it, but I don't believe them to be the things that construct our morals, rather they are externalised constructs of our already inbuilt evolutionary moral compass.

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DieChecker
Just now, eight bits said:

And he still doesn't say that any religion is better than another in any specific sense.

Well that's true. :D Thou it seems he means Christianity is better then at least one unnamed other.

Quote

Sounds like a plan, eh?

:tu:  Worth thinking about.

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DieChecker
3 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

So I was free of my moral bonds and obligations to God and the Church, time to rampage right? Well no.  I considered what my loss of faith really meant and how that was going to change my life and came to the conclusion that it wasn't really going to change anything, except maybe give me a little more time back each week. 

Question: But you had been raised as a Christian and indoctrinated in what they considered socially good, right?

Do you think if you were raised by a Muslim, that you might turn your back on Islam, but still have much of your morality/ethics be Islamic in nature? Or, if you were raised as a Hindu, might you still live as a Hindu, even if you turned your back on Hinduism? 

Point being - Were you "good" because you were good, or because you were raised that way?

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