Another thought expirement: Religion and CPS

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Another thought expirement: Religion and CPS

Say you are an agent in CPS [Child Protective Services]. A woman in town is saying she wants to kill her children because God told her to [They're sinners, or sacrifice whatever].

 

The child is then taken into your custody. A month later the mother sues for custody back. Now during the trial, she swears that she abandoned her religion. She even takes the blasphemy challenge. There is no evidence that she is still Christian or believes in God and all the evidence that she is no longer Christian and no longer believes in God.

 

Would you return the child?

 

 

 

 

 


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My sister works for CPS. 

My sister works for CPS.  She is on vacation right now, but I will ask her when she gets back.  I would hope there we be some sort of mental evaluation that must be preformed in order to get the child back.  As it was a mental reason why the child was taken away.

Sounds made up...
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 I asked a PhD student in

 I asked a PhD student in the social work program here at UGA, so this is as definitive an answer as you're going to get.

The state mandates that a mother displaying signs of severely dysfunctional, suicidal, or homicidal desires towards herself or her children would be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation to determine if there was a mental disorder at the root of the drives.  If a disorder was found, she would be required to undergo both psychological counselling and any drug therapy for a certain length of time (the times vary according to the situation).  Pending a second psych evaluation suggesting that the disorder was under control, she would receive limited supervised visits with her child (or children) along with continued therapy.  If, after all of that, she had displayed no further homicidal/suicidal desires, she could petition the court for custody, and a judge would rule on it.

If there was no evidence of mental disorder, she would still be required to undergo extensive psychological therapy, and if she showed sufficient progress in overcoming whatever false core belief CBT illuminated, she would receive the same supervised visitation for as long as necessary before both the case workers, psychologists, and a judge deemed her to be capable of regaining custody.

You've asked questions like this before, and the answer is essentially the same.  Social work does not recognize religious belief as a disorder.  In counselling, the CBT (cognitive behavioral therapist) would attempt first to work within her religious worldview to get her to a place where she believed her original thought processes to be inaccurate.  In other words, the CBT would try to find a logical disconnect that resonated with her about the illogic of killing her child.  The goal is not to rid the woman of religion, but to minimize the chance of her killing her child.  The shortest path to that point is going to be the one advocated by most case workers.

There's one other thing you need to understand about social work in America.  It is a practice without a method.  Frankly, it is a horrible system.  In a recent attempt at a survey of theory in practice, it was discovered that most practicing case workers in this county couldn't even tell the researchers what a working theory was, much less explain the working theory behind their case methods.  It's better in some places, worse in others, but the bottom line is that social work in America is very much like applying bandaids while blindfolded.

So basically, your question doesn't really yield any meaningful answers.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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You appealed to laws last

You appealed to laws last time too.

 

The point of this one and the last one isn't what we HAVE to do by law, it's what we SHOULD do if we want to protect the best interest of the child. That is not what the laws DO say, it's what they SHOULD say if we want the best interest of the child in danger or a girl conteplating suicide. Such as SHOULD CPS/APA consider religious belief as a disorder?

 

Ok, say Obama changes the laws. The new law says you do whatever you have to in order to ensure the safety of the child.

 

 

On a side note, maybe I should of put it in the perspective of the Judge, who can grant or deny custody, rather than the CPS agent.

 

 


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 Your question asked what I

 Your question asked what I would do.  If I was in a position of deciding, I'd be a case worker, so I'd be bound to do what the law required.  You should ask your questions more precisely to save me the trouble of answering what you ask instead of what you meant.

I wouldn't return the child before I'd ruled out mental illness, or having found it, treated it to the satisfaction of psychiatric professionals, and then been sufficiently convinced by a series of supervised visits that she was over her illness to the point that she could care for the child.  If I found no mental illness, I'd want to see a long series of therapy sessions and supervised visits, as well as random in-home visitation by professionals to determine if she was just saying she was over it, or whether she was faking.  

Personally, I'm of the opinion that some people are just not fit to raise children, so I think if I had the magic wand of deciding, I'd probably permanently take away a significant number of children of extremely religious parents.  They'd be better off being raised by more intelligent, rational people.  (Of course, there is the problem of adoption in America.  It's a mess.)

But then, I don't have that wand, and I think the laws are basically good if they're used with intelligence.  They can fuck up sometimes, but I think if we err on the side of caution (not returning children) there are a good number of safeguards that will at least keep the children from being murdered.

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:You

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
You appealed to laws last time too.

 

The point of this one and the last one isn't what we HAVE to do by law, it's what we SHOULD do if we want to protect the best interest of the child. That is not what the laws DO say, it's what they SHOULD say if we want the best interest of the child in danger or a girl conteplating suicide. Such as SHOULD CPS/APA consider religious belief as a disorder?

 

Ok, say Obama changes the laws. The new law says you do whatever you have to in order to ensure the safety of the child.

 

 

On a side note, maybe I should of put it in the perspective of the Judge, who can grant or deny custody, rather than the CPS agent.

You're wanting a moral perspective on this, then, rather than legal? If so, the perspective has to be of an observer, any actor in this case is bound by laws.

Or are you just wanting someone to come out and say that religion is a mental disorder so you can pounce them? I've seen you do that before.

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Hell no!!

I wouldn't return the child to that twit for anythng in the world. Do you remember those children that were drowned by their mother in the bathtub? She also said that god told her to do it. She even made the oldest help her while he was crying for her to stop. There is something seriously wrong with someone who thinks like this. I think that there should be protection for the child above all else and that includes the rights of the mother. To me she would have no rights after such a display of insanity and should forever be barred from any contact with the children as long as they are adolescent.

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 Morally, I believe

 Morally, I believe children have rights that are not explicitly granted to them.

I believe children have a right to grow up without being brainwashed.

They have the right to complete and scientifically/epistemologically accurate education.  (Yes, I mean I'm opposed to home schooling unless it is strictly controlled and monitored.)

They have the same rights as adults with regard to physical and mental assault and abuse.  (Yes, I consider hitting children to be assault and abuse.)

They have a right to grow up with competent guardians.  (Yes, I believe parents who abuse/brainwash/assault their children forfeit their right to parenting.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Deadly Fingergun

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

You're wanting a moral perspective on this, then, rather than legal? If so, the perspective has to be of an observer, any actor in this case is bound by laws.

 

 

Moral.

 

 

Quote:

Or are you just wanting someone to come out and say that religion is a mental disorder so you can pounce them? I've seen you do that before.

 

Nope. That wasn't the point of this thread.

 

Look at my avatar, I'm cute, sweet, and innocent

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Moral.
Then, morally speaking the religion and its delusional beliefs are beside the point. If the momma isn't thinking about slaughtering the kiddos any more and she is otherwise demonstrating an ability to parent, then return the kids. The newfound atheism isnt really germane.
 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Nope. That wasn't the point of this thread.

 

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Deadly Fingergun

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Moral.
Then, morally speaking the religion and its delusional beliefs are beside the point. If the momma isn't thinking about slaughtering the kiddos any more and she is otherwise demonstrating an ability to parent, then return the kids. The newfound atheism isnt really germane.
 

 

Agreed. If the question is broadly 'moral' and you have some way to know the truth about her mental state, religion doesn't have anything to do with it...either she is going to kill her kids or she is not.

The law as it stands is a decent enough guide because it attempts to find that out as best we can.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:Deadly

mellestad wrote:

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

The newfound atheism isnt really germane.
 

... religion doesn't have anything to do with it...either she is going to kill her kids or she is not.

Muwahahahahahaha! The Cap's trap has been sprung!

 

 

My answer: it's hard to know you could take her word for it. If she says she's left her religion and no longer believes in God telling her to kill her kids, it's because she knows, or believes, you think it is germane to her having access to them you have to take it with a grain of salt no matter how she swears to it. She could be just telling you what she think you want to hear.

In my opinion, anyone who has gone that far over the line with their kids, just once, should never have them returned to their full and unsupervised care.

If I found, on investigation, that she had actually abandoned the faith and, thus, made definite moves in her life to improve her mental state, I would open the door to more interaction and communication between her and her children but I would not give them back, because it's impossible to tell if ever God might "talk to her" again.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Say you

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Say you are an agent in CPS [Child Protective Services]. A woman in town is saying she wants to kill her children because God told her to [They're sinners, or sacrifice whatever].

 

The child is then taken into your custody. A month later the mother sues for custody back. Now during the trial, she swears that she abandoned her religion. She even takes the blasphemy challenge. There is no evidence that she is still Christian or believes in God and all the evidence that she is no longer Christian and no longer believes in God.

 

Would you return the child?

 

 

 

 

 

Not on that alone. There could be other reasons she did that. A full psychiatric exam should happen first, at least.

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As Eloise pointed out,

As Eloise pointed out, religion has nothing to do with it. A crazy person is a crazy person.

Studies indicate that most people who believe in god think god is on their side. Their morality is god's morality. Their opinion is god's opinion. Take away god, and the person still has the same morality, the same opinion. (This is a simplification, of course, as religion is a social grouping, and individuals of the group are more likely to partake of the group opinions and morality.)

From a "correct" point of view, you'd have to be damned sure the mother really was cured (for some socially-defined value of 'cured').

It seems that's the current protocol, or something close to it. I'm not sure I'd go as far as Eloise, and never give the kids back. Not that I think a functioning uterus or set of testes gives one the right to raise kids; but there're practical limits involved, as well. In addition, there's always the chance that the initial removal was an over-reaction to an offhand comment ('start behaving right now, or so help me god, I'm going to kill you').

In any case, I guess all I can say is, 'It depends on the circumstances.' Taken at face value, I'd tend more to Eloise's solution. But in any circumstances, crazy is crazy. A religious crazy person is no more and no less crazy than a non-religious crazy person. The main problem is, groups of religious folks might help cultivate the crazy, whereas in other cases, crazy people are generally on their own.

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 Quote:Muwahahahahahaha!

 

Quote:
Muwahahahahahaha! The Cap's trap has been sprung!

I love the Capn's approach.  Ask an open-ended question and lead the respondents until someone says what she wants to hear.

By the way, I spent some more time with my PhD social work friend and asked a few more questions.  One of the things the psychologist evaluating our hypothetical woman would be looking for would be a plan.  In this state, someone who has suicidal/homicidal thoughts is automatically committed to the booby hatch for observation for up to 36 hours.  During that time, they are asked questions about their plans.  If they have specific, detailed plans about how to commit the suicide/homicide, that's usually enough for a judge to sign a judicial order permanently revoking her parental rights and essentially imposing a restraining order.

The only way a woman would have a chance at the stuff I mentioned above -- the supervised visits, therapy, etc -- is if she had nonspecific plans for homicide/suicide.  

I asked for more details on general CBT procedure on treating severe delusions that appear to stem from religious belief.  The bottom line is that American psychology regards religious delusion as delusion, not a separate category.  In social work, there really is no theory at all for dealing with religious belief.  There are just actions.  Either the children are getting what the state says they need, or they are not.  If parents are giving them those things -- food, shelter, security, clean house, sanitary conditions, etc, there aren't really any procedures or theories for addressing the potential harm done by religious indoctrination or belief.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Eloise wrote:mellestad

Eloise wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

The newfound atheism isnt really germane.
 

... religion doesn't have anything to do with it...either she is going to kill her kids or she is not.

Muwahahahahahaha! The Cap's trap has been sprung!

 

I don't see how, I said exactly what you said.  How did I misstate my point?  Unless you are omnicient there is no way to know the truth about her motivation, and the problem is not with her religion, it is with a behavior that breaks social norms.  Either she wants to kill her kids or she doesn't, and the only way to know whether or not it is 'moral' to give her kids back is to know whether or not she is going to kill her kids...and her telling a judge about a deconversion has nothing to do with that.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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 Quote:I don't see how, I

 

Quote:
I don't see how, I said exactly what you said.  How did I misstate my point?  Unless you are omnicient there is no way to know the truth about her motivation, and the problem is not with her religion, it is with a behavior that breaks social norms.  Either she wants to kill her kids or she doesn't, and the only way to know whether or not it is 'moral' to give her kids back is to know whether or not she is going to kill her kids...and her telling a judge about a deconversion has nothing to do with that.

I agree with you, and so do social workers.  Without accompanying context, the statement of deconversion is just as meaningless as the original statement that God wanted her to do it.  Some people really believe God wants them to kill their kids.  Some people use it as an excuse.  Without context clues, it's impossible to make an educated guess as to which is the case.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Eloise
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mellestad wrote:Eloise

mellestad wrote:

Eloise wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

The newfound atheism isnt really germane.
 

... religion doesn't have anything to do with it...either she is going to kill her kids or she is not.

Muwahahahahahaha! The Cap's trap has been sprung!

 

I don't see how, I said exactly what you said. 

I wouldn't say exactly, exactly.

mellestad wrote:

 Unless you are omnicient there is no way to know the truth about her motivation, and the problem is not with her religion, it is with a behavior that breaks social norms.  Either she wants to kill her kids or she doesn't, and the only way to know whether or not it is 'moral' to give her kids back is to know whether or not she is going to kill her kids...and her telling a judge about a deconversion has nothing to do with that.

 

A fair guess what Cpt Pineapple is getting at here is to see if those of us who argue in the affirmative that superstition is a source or cause of crazy, as opposed to merely a symptom,will contradict ourselves in practice.

What you're saying affirms the idea that dangerous adherence to religious superstition is consequent to crazy. Some of us here believe cases go the other way - so adherence to religious superstition is inherently dangerous of itself. For those people the Caps thought experiment could pose a dilemma, but if you don't believe that religious superstition can be inherently dangerous, you're in the clear.

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:3

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Say you are an agent in CPS [Child Protective Services]. A woman in town is saying she wants to kill her children because God told her to [They're sinners, or sacrifice whatever].

 

The child is then taken into your custody. A month later the mother sues for custody back. Now during the trial, she swears that she abandoned her religion. She even takes the blasphemy challenge. There is no evidence that she is still Christian or believes in God and all the evidence that she is no longer Christian and no longer believes in God.

 

Would you return the child?

 

 

Assuming I am not in CPS but could decide the outcome...

 

I would say keep the children the hell away from their mother. She wanted to kill them.

 

The god thing probably just helps her re-affirm her ideas. I've seen a lot of people do things and feel OKAY with it because they think it is okay by GOD, even though they know it is illegal HERE, they think that a HIGHER law (God) is more important than punishments here. 

 

But she is batshit crazy in the first place for saying she is going to kill her kids. 

 

 

 

Since I have a feeling this is coming from another topic, the church I went to Cpt did have parents admit they would sacrifice their children for the lord if he called upon them. Anyone slightly unstable guided towards this could lead to disasterous consequences. I guarantee you also that everyone in the community would be shocked if it happened, and call it a tragedy, after which the former parents would recieve light sentencing while they sob over their child's death.

 

It might make local news, but likely not national news. It has happened before. Just like all the deaths at the snake-handling churches that never make the news. 

 

 

You grow to expect things like this.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Eloise wrote:mellestad

Eloise wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Eloise wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

The newfound atheism isnt really germane.
 

... religion doesn't have anything to do with it...either she is going to kill her kids or she is not.

Muwahahahahahaha! The Cap's trap has been sprung!

 

I don't see how, I said exactly what you said. 

I wouldn't say exactly, exactly.

mellestad wrote:

 Unless you are omnicient there is no way to know the truth about her motivation, and the problem is not with her religion, it is with a behavior that breaks social norms.  Either she wants to kill her kids or she doesn't, and the only way to know whether or not it is 'moral' to give her kids back is to know whether or not she is going to kill her kids...and her telling a judge about a deconversion has nothing to do with that.

 

A fair guess what Cpt Pineapple is getting at here is to see if those of us who argue in the affirmative that superstition is a source or cause of crazy, as opposed to merely a symptom,will contradict ourselves in practice.

What you're saying affirms the idea that dangerous adherence to religious superstition is consequent to crazy. Some of us here believe cases go the other way - so adherence to religious superstition is inherently dangerous of itself. For those people the Caps thought experiment could pose a dilemma, but if you don't believe that religious superstition can be inherently dangerous, you're in the clear.

 

I see.  I don't think it is necessarily consequent, it can be either way depending on circumstance.  Some people are driven to do 'evil' by their religion (or any other belief/philosophy/dogma) but would be perfectly 'good' if that belief were taken away or replaced.  They are just ignorant or misinformed.  Others are malfunctioning mentally and latch on to religion as a consequence of their delusion, like a schizophrenic who decides they are hearing the voice of God and creates a doomsday cult.

That is why I mentioned omniscience...with the data she gave us, I have no way to know the root cause of her behavior.

 

I'm confused though, it seems like Capt. starts multiple threads with the exact same purpose.  I am sure I have had this conversation before...religion is not special, it is just like any other social meme...and it should be held accountable to the same standards.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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When I created this thread I

When I created this thread I figured what the answers would be. They would put her under psychological evaluation to see whether it's her religion or she's nuts.

 

It was to illustrate the importance of being able to distinguish the difference between religious or nuts. The "evidence" I see comes mostly from news articles, and when I ask for a psych evaluation, I'm tired of being raked over the coals. That's why in my last one about the suicidal girl, I asked if the story appears in the media while it be able to determine whether it's a religious delusion or suicidal tendacies. And go figure it can't.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 The fundamental flaw

 The fundamental flaw (which has been repeatedly pointed out) in Captain's model of humanity is that she's trying to throw one blanket over crazy.  For some reason, when I and others say that faith based reasoning is uniquely dangerous in its ability to cause crazy behavior, it seems like she hears "Faith based reasoning is THE cause of all religious crazy."

Of course, that's not what any of us are saying.  In this hypothetical case, the woman's homicidal thoughts towards her children might be attributable to postpartum depression.  We could easily say she's clinically depressed, and isn't in her right mind.  So postpartum depression is "the cause of the crazy."  However, if she is experiencing postpartum depression AND believes that God speaks to her, AND believes that God is telling her it's a good idea to kill her children, she's in a uniquely vulnerable position.  Since she believes that God's word trumps reason, it's possible that she will go through with a homicide she might otherwise avoid.  After all, there are plenty of women who have homicidal thoughts towards their babies and don't follow through because gee... they don't want to go to jail, and they use sound critical thinking and override their urges.  However, a religious person who believes that her loyalty to an unseen, untestable God outweighs any earthly inconvenience she might experience would be uniquely vulnerable to following her own instincts because she has been taught to believe that her instincts are the "still small voice of God" whispering instructions.

So... maybe it's the faith based belief that causes it, and the postpartum depression was simply a catalyst, not a cause.

Again, this is what Captain's model misses.  She is assuming (with absolutely no empirical evidence) that human behavior is inextricably linked to some kind of hardwired desires, and that people will do exactly what they're going to do regardless of what justification they pick.  This is absurd from a psychological and sociological point of view.  One of my good friends whose PhD dissertation was on morality, and dealt with this very subject, has told her essentially that her view on human morality is equivalent to creationism in that it completely defies all the evidence.  But she persists.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hamby, I have repeatily

Hamby, I have repeatily cited people who do research into religion and society such as Scott Atran, so yeah, I'm not ignoring evidence. You are.

 

 

 


 


 

 


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 And I, and people with

 And I, and people with degrees in this shit, have repeatedly told you that Atran's research DOESN'T ADDRESS THE CLAIM YOU THINK IT'S REFUTING.

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Okay, Hamby let's test this

Okay, Hamby let's test this shall we?

 

Quote:

Again, this is what Captain's model misses.  She is assuming (with absolutely no empirical evidence) that human behavior is inextricably linked to some kind of hardwired desires, and that people will do exactly what they're going to do regardless of what justification they pick.

 

 

Explain the failure of absitence only education. I only asked you a million times to do this and yet you fail to do so everytime. This DOES have to do with your point because if you were right, then the religious education would change their behaviour and override their inhert desire to have sex. But it doesn't does it?

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Explain

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Explain the failure of absitence only education. I only asked you a million times to do this and yet you fail to do so everytime. This DOES have to do with your point because if you were right, then the religious education would change their behaviour and override their inhert desire to have sex. But it doesn't does it?
You seem to think this can be discussed in absolutes. There are far too many variables to manage that.

For religious abstinence education to work, the indoctrination of authority must be deeply set. There simply aren't enough people who are pre-indoctrinated for there to be a significant impact by religious abstinence education.

There are people who are primed for it, though, and they do change their behavior to match the abstinence education (to varying levels).

Similarly, religion effects the behavior on other subjects. A person's behaviors might fall within the bounds of generally accepted choices until you add a religious imperative - for instance, that abortion is a deadly sin in god's eyes and needs to be stopped - after which they step into the realm of "crazy" by killing someone. More often it drives people into less drastic acts, a prime example being California's Prop. 8 where religions was the basis for an irrational and unwarranted repression of a minority.

We are not islands of consciousness separate from everything and everyone else. We are as much the ongoing experiences we have as we are the internal reactions to it. Religion is clearly part of that landscape, and can and does drive people out of what is accepted as "sane" and into the "insane" - it is in particular so dangerous because religion is in itself is already an irrational precept, adding to the "be irrational" valence many people may already have.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:This

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
This DOES have to do with your point because if you were right, then the religious education would change their behaviour and override their inhert desire to have sex. But it doesn't does it?

Nope, but teaching them about birth control reduces the number of pregnancies. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 Quote:Explain the failure

 

Quote:
Explain the failure of absitence only education.

We've been down this road.  Let me try again.

1) Regardless of the "cause" of "the failure of abstinence only education," you don't get to scientifically claim that the existence of ONE phenomenon in which religious behavior and non-religious behavior are comparable means that ALL religious and non-religious behaviors are comparable.  That's atrociously bad logic.

2) Your implied hypothesis completely ignores established scientific fact, specifically, the fact that humans ARE quite malleable in their interpretation of morality, and their beliefs about the nature of their environment DO have very specific causal effects on the actions they choose.  (Milgram, anyone?)

3) Returning to abstinence only education, your implied hypothesis assumes (with no evidence) that public education is the PRIMARY CAUSAL AGENT for young Americans' sexual practices.  In fact, the EVIDENCE suggests otherwise, as American teens behave approximately the same, regardless of whether they've had ANY formal sex education or Abstinence Only education.  Furthermore, when we survey more progressive countries where the predominate socially accepted morality is safe, responsible premarital sex, we find that -- Gee Willikers, teens practice more safe sex and get less diseases.

4) Your implied hypothesis seems to rest on the assumption that teen pregnancy and disease transmission are the only measures of the EFFECTS of the culture of abstinence only morality.  This is not the case.  Spend twenty minutes hanging out with a group of young Europeans discussing sex and dating, and then do the same thing with a group of similar Americans.  You'll find that the two groups are remarkably dissimilar in their attitudes.  Spend some time in a therapist's office talking with young girls struggling with their sexuality.  You'll see that abstinence only morality has far-reaching consequences, and that your straight-line reasoning, using only pregnancy and disease transmission, is methodologically bankrupt.

Quote:
I only asked you a million times to do this and yet you fail to do so everytime. This DOES have to do with your point because if you were right, then the religious education would change their behaviour and override their inhert desire to have sex. But it doesn't does it?

I've explained it several times.  The failure of abstinence only education lies in its extreme claims and essentially impossible demands.  Our culture is rooted in Christian morality, in which sex before marriage is strongly discouraged, but the fact is, very few humans will wait until marriage to have sex.  Furthermore, the factual claims of many AO programs are easily refuted.  Children know how to use google.  Finally, there's no evidence I'm aware of to suggest that school education is the primary source of teens' sexual morality.  Expecting wholesale changes in morality from highschool classes is... naive.

I'm sorry, Alison.  You've latched onto this one issue, and I get that it seems incongruous to you, but that's because you're treating religious behavior as some sort of all-or-nothing affair, where you ought to be able to take any old religious teaching in any old setting and equate it with wholesale societal changes.  That's patently absurd, for the reasons I've explained above (among others).  Abstinence only education is a bloated government program.  If you're going to hang your hopes of proving religion=nonreligion on a pork barrel thank-you note from George Bush to the Fundamentalist Right who got him elected... well, that's pretty naive.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:Furthermore, when we

Quote:

Furthermore, when we survey more progressive countries where the predominate socially accepted morality is safe, responsible premarital sex, we find that -- Gee Willikers, teens practice more safe sex and get less diseases.

http://www.thelocal.se/12644/20080625/

 

Quote:

A new report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) paints a mixed picture when it comes to clean living by Sweden’s youth, especially concerning the sexual habits of Swedish teenage girls.


Not only are 15-year-old Swedish girls more likely to have sex than their peers in other countries, but they are also far more likely to do so unprotected.

 

 

Jynnxies!! 

 

 

A five fucking second goolge search Hamby.

 

For the recored, I have spoken to American and Canadian teenagers about sex. Their primary conecern seems to be what size the ball gag should be. I haven't spoken to Europeans though, but I may not want to.

 

 

Moving on, Hamby, I am not denying the effects of enviorment. As I said before, advertisers are a prime example of altering people's behaviours. I have no doubt in my mind some of Milgram's expirementers that administered the lethal shock were atheist. Or if the expirement were to be all atheists, I don't see how that would be different than if they were all Christians or Hindus or Muslims.

 

 

It's almost as if religious beliefs are egocentric............

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 OH NOES!!!  CAPTAIN

 OH NOES!!!  CAPTAIN PINEAPPLE CAN FIND EXCEPTIONS TO RULEZ!!!!

 

For crying out loud, Alison.  You're the only person who takes your cherry picking approach seriously.  This is very simple:

Faith based belief makes people UNIQUELY VULNERABLE to environmental factors which can alter their moral perceptions.

As a general trend we see that when other factors are approximately equal, highly faith-based religious cultures TEND to be more dysfunctional than otherwise comparable non-faith-based cultures.

Duh.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Faith

Hambydammit wrote:

Faith based belief makes people UNIQUELY VULNERABLE to environmental factors which can alter their moral perceptions.

A

 

Then why is religion so egocentric? Why do people's religious views DEPEND on the enviroment? Why do people cherry pick which beliefs to follow and which not to? You have it backwards. Ass backwards.

 

 

 

 


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 Quote:Then why is religion

 

Quote:
Then why is religion so egocentric? Why do people's religious views DEPEND on the enviroment? Why do people cherry pick which beliefs to follow and which not to? You have it backwards. Ass backwards.

Why is it so hard for you to understand that human behavior is not an all-or-nothing one for one phenomenon?  Religion is egocentric to a large degree, but it also shapes people's egos in very specific ways.  If your parents are Christian, you're overwhelmingly likely to be Christian as well, but if you're naturally a Type-A person, you may not feel comfortable in your parents' laid back country church.  You may go straight for the evangelical go-getter congregations who enjoy passing out pamphlets and organizing Christmas pageants in the park.  But you're still going to a Christian church.  Get it?  

Most human preferences are not ingrained.  Sexual preference, our taste for salt and fat, and our general personality type appear to be essentially set in our genes.  Beyond that, what we like and what we believe are highly malleable.  I'm going on the assumption that you're still something of a homebody and that you don't socialize much, so you may not have first hand knowledge of this.  I've had many circles of friends in my life.  Everything from pot smoking hippies to jet-set yuppies.  As my peer groups have changed, my tastes have changed.  Not only that, but my beliefs about acceptable behaviors have changed, too.  Nothing incredibly drastic -- it's not that I've decided murder was ok and then changed my mind -- but within a surprisingly large array of preferences, I've shifted perspectives many times.

Our environment shapes us.  It's undeniable.  

Why do people cherry pick religion?  Because it's impossible not to.  It's as simple as that.  Some churches have tried to follow every single word in the Bible down to the letter, and the attempt always fails because the Bible is contradictory and demands behaviors that are illegal and/or immoral.

Let me try another time to explain this.  Faith based belief is UNIQUE in that it provides a justification for people to do things that are otherwise unjustifiable.  I don't just mean morally.  Prayer is an unjustifiable action.  There's absolutely no logical reason to do it.  There's no evidence that it works.  Yet, most Christians do it.  By any empirical method, prayer would have been abandoned long ago.

Of course, many religious people use faith to justify immoral behaviors.  This is the fact that for some reason, you just can't get through your thick skull.  You're well aware that most people have an innate tendency towards us-them dichotomies.  What you're failing to take into account is that by any empirical, logical system of evaluation, extreme or blanket us-them dichotomies are ill-advised on a number of levels.  People who live in cultures where empiricism and logic are primary are in an environment that encourages empiricism and logic.  Their environment encourages them to be less bigoted, and so the cost-benefit analysis shifts.  Bigotry becomes difficult to justify, and so it is practiced less.

By contrast, faith-based religions often encourage and justify bigotry.  Have you noticed that among non-Christians, gay bashing is generally frowned upon in America, or that all of the most zealous anti-Gay groups have faith based religious beliefs as central tenets?

That's because faith based reasoning gives people JUSTIFICATION they wouldn't have otherwise had, to engage in behavior that would OTHERWISE BE UNJUSTIFIABLE.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:That's because faith

Quote:

That's because faith based reasoning gives people JUSTIFICATION they wouldn't have otherwise had, to engage in behavior that would OTHERWISE BE UNJUSTIFIABLE.

 

Wow, Hamby now I can see why Atran's research is irrelevant to this:

 

Scott Atran wrote:

Finally, Harris says that because he and Dawkins and Weinberg never talked about scapegoating, then my bringing in statistically reliable evidence about scapegoating from studies involving thousands of people from several religions around the world is irrelevant. But I cited the evidence that atheists are as likely as religious people to scapegoat others, to hold dogmatic beliefs, and to condone violence because Harris and company repeatedly emphasize in one form or another that, all things being equal, atheism bests religion for tolerance, openness, and opposition to violence. Again, I see no evidence this is so (though I certainly wouldn't mind if were so).

 

 

Because whether or not atheists are as likely to condone violence as religious people, is irrelevant as to whether or not atheists are as likely to condone violence as religious people.

 

Whether or not atheists are more tolerant or open or oppose violence more than religious people is irrelevant as to whether or not atheists are more tolerant or open or oppose violence more than religious people.

 

 

Completly irrelevant.

 

 [edit]

 

Also, whether or not when all things being equal, atheism bests religion for tolerance, openness, and opposition to violence is irrelevant as to whether or not when all things being equal, atheism bests religion for tolerance, openness, and opposition to violence

 

 [/edit]

 


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 Yes, Pineapple.  Atran

 Yes, Pineapple.  Atran has discovered what I've been saying all along -- that people have innate propensities.

ATRAN'S RESEARCH DOES NOT ADDRESS THE CLAIM THAT FAITH PROVIDES A UNIQUE AND UNFALSIFIABLE JUSTIFICATION NOT OFFERED BY ANY OTHER BELIEF SYSTEM.

As near as I can decipher from what you've linked, Atran has discovered that atheism doesn't remove scapegoating and dogmatism completely from the human psyche.  Well, bully for him for discovering the obvious!  Nobody here is claiming that ATHEISM is opposite THEISM.  Nobody here is claiming that ATHEISM CAUSES ANYTHING.

The claim that I make is that NON-FAITH BASED IDEOLOGY is better than FAITH BASED IDEOLOGY.

See?  Atran DOES NOT ADDRESS MY CLAIM.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Yes,

Hambydammit wrote:

 Yes, Pineapple.  Atran has discovered what I've been saying all along -- that people have innate propensities.

ATRAN'S RESEARCH DOES NOT ADDRESS THE CLAIM THAT FAITH PROVIDES A UNIQUE AND UNFALSIFIABLE JUSTIFICATION NOT OFFERED BY ANY OTHER BELIEF SYSTEM.

 

 

 

Yes it does.

 

Let's be scientific about it shall we? You're making a testable claim.

 

 

You keep using the word "justification" for "unjustifiable" actions.

 

Well, if violence and bigotry were unjustifiable [other than religion in most cases], then atheists would at the very least be LESS likely than religious people to scapegoat, condone violence, hold dogmatic beliefs. After all an atheist can't use God to justify violence/bigotry/dogmatic belief.

 

 

How do you not realize that? How do you not realize that if you take away the prime justification as you say for violence and bigotry [faith based world view i.e Religion] then Atran should have found that atheists ARE LESS LIKELY  to condone violence, hold dogmatic beliefs etc...?

 

 

 

It utterly baffles me how you claim to study and advocate science and yet are unable to formulate your view into a testable hypothesis. Whether or not atheists will show the same tendacies as theists [which is my claim] is an empirical question.

 

IF YOUR ARGUMENTS WERE TRUE, THEN ATHEISTS WOULD BE LESS LIKELY TO DO THOSE THINGS. IT TURNS OUT THAT THEY ARE AS LIKELY.

 

 

How could you possibly explain this? How can you possibly explain the data that says atheists are AS likely to condone violence while making the claim that atheists are LESS likely to condone violence[ Because of course, they lack the justification of God]?

 

 

 

 

 


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mellestad wrote:
religion is not special, it is just like any other social meme...and it should be held accountable to the same standards.


Pretty much this, the problem coming from the fact that it isn't (held to the same standards).  

Religion is a social institution, and I don't think it has any Super Special Awesome Brainwashing Power of Doom(tm) inherent in its structure or status as Religion, but rather it is imbued with this power by the people who praise it. In other words, it's Voice gives it Super Strength. Religion thus forms a sort of self reinforcing cycle of behavioral modification, and the extent to which it can affect people is largely dependent on how much attention they pay it in the first place, and this is largely dependent on its power over the adults and when those adults start trying to do the influencing. If they try it young, it works, if they try it on teenagers, the teenager's naturaly tendency to Rebel overrides it, it becomes 'too little, too late.'

I would say, that the failure of Abstinence Only Sex Education stems from two sources, the Parents belief that it will actually work, and the students in general not giving a damn about Religion. I will state, it seems like Religion is a dominant influence in The United States, however it is only really dominant in the older generations at this point. For the youth, Religion, and Christianity in particular, has been denegrated to that bunch of people that the wierd 'nice' kids belong to, and a source of Pimped Out Jewelry for the 'Gansta's'* and those freaks with the Black Eye Liner to wear.  

I would be interested in a Study of Abstinence Only Sex Education that cross-compared groups based on how long they had been a member of their particular religion, and how strongly they said they believed.

In other countries, this situation is different. I would ask the Captain, if you truly believe that Religion cannot influence people, then do you honestly think all of the Men in the Middle East are just innately Misogynistic and want to throw rocks at people deep down in their heart of hearts? Are you willing to positively state that an entire ethnicity is inherently barbaric? Or is it rather, that because Religion is imbued with a supernatural quality and reverence, that it gains the power to override a person's personality? Or possibly, is it simply that they find in religion a, to Quote TheoWarner, "Social Permission to act with Cruelty, and without Empathy." If that is the case, would not religion still be worth fighting? Perhaps not to the death, but at least to the Pain, or possibly Irrelevance? Or possibly, humans might be fucking complex, and it might be a combination of all of these factors Possibly Maybe...

Of course, religion is hardly the only source for such phenomena. It seems that Poltical Ideology is rapidly replacing religion in the United States, in addition to the massive swell in influence the 'clique' cultures of the youth is having, all exacerbated by gloabalization ensuring that the modern Youth never fully lives in their own Home.

And since you asked; no I don't have any statistical data to back up any of the above.

Speaking of Hypotheses, what exactly is yours? That Atheists are exactly Like Theists? That religion is not inherently more destructive than any other ideology? That Religion cannot influence people at all? I can see nothing in any of those three claims that at all lead to the idea that Religion should be defended, so Help me Out here.

The Captain wrote:
Their primary conecern seems to be what size the ball gag should be.

Tis an Important Subject. <Nods>And do I detect a bit of disdain in your post?  Possibly a continued belief in 'proper' sexual conduct?

*The fact that I just typed this makes me want to kill myself. No, No, it makes me want to kill everyone else.

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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Let me put this another way

Let me put this another way Hamby:

 

Let me know if you disagree with any of the points:

 

 

1] Belief in God/Religion is the most widespread form of faith based reasoning.

 

2] Atheists lack a belief in God [by definition]

 

3] Faith based reasoning makes people more likely to condone violence etc...

 

4] Now since Atheists lack the most widespread form of faith based reasoning [belief in God] they will be LESS likely to do things in 3]. Not to say that atheists don't have ANY faith based beliefs [Marxism, astrology etc....] [other side note: name me one person who doesn't have a single faith based belief], they should however be less likely to hold faith based beliefs. They can't hold to Christianity or Islam, seeing as those require a belief in God. [If they did, they wouldn't be atheists would they?]

 

5] Hence, atheists should be less likely to support things as described by 3]

 

 

Now do you see how this is relevant?

 

I'm not saying you claim that atheism causes anything. However, people who reject the most widespread form of faith based reasoning [God/Religion] should at the very least be LESS likely to hold to 3].

 

I KNOW YOU NEVER MADE THE CLAIM THAT ATHEISM CAUSES SOMETHING.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 That's a long way around

 That's a long way around your asshole to get to your elbow, and I just don't see how it's applicable.

Look, you've been very diligent in searching for specific examples of how faith and non-faith people are the same, and I agree with you.  Faith doesn't make people non-human.  Both kinds of people will still do good and bad.  They will both employ sound and unsound logic.  They'll all fuck and make babies.

What Atran, et al (although I'm not sure who exactly is included in et al) have demonstrated is that within certain boundaries, humans tend to behave approximately the same regardless of faith or nonfaith.  I do not contest this claim.  What I (and Gregory Paul, and Christopher Hitchens, et al) have demonstrated to one degree or another is that there are broad general trends indicative of a relationship between personal and societal dysfunction and faith based thinking.  I don't know how many ways I can explain to you that specific examples of similarities between faith and non faith people do not disprove the general and far reaching dis-similarities.

So both faith and non-faith people scapegoat.  Fine.  Show me the large group of 1st world non-faith dominated cultures in which scapegoating is practiced towards women to the degree that it is in predominately Muslim countries.  As Paul has pointed out in his most recent paper, there's no clear directional indicator in the current data.  We can't say for sure whether non-faith led to more egalitarian cultures, or whether more egalitarian cultures led to less faith.  However, we can certainly see the correlation.  The most egalitarian countries in the world tend strongly towards non-faith.  And within very egalitarian countries, there is still scapegoating, because that's what humans do.

But the severity and cultural acceptance of otherwise unjustifiable scapegoating is lower.

And as I have repeatedly pointed out, faith provides a unique justification for otherwise unjustifiable actions.

Let's turn it around so you can see the implications of your hypothesis.  If what you suggest is true, then the only logical conclusion is that Faith is not used as a justification for otherwise unjustifiable actions.  You repeatedly say that people try very hard to do what they instinctively want to do, but your hypothesis suggests that they DO NOT use the most LOGICAL justification available to them when they GENUINELY BELIEVE IT.

That's absurd.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Sinphanius wrote:Speaking of

Sinphanius wrote:

Speaking of Hypotheses, what exactly is yours? That Atheists are exactly Like Theists? That religion is not inherently more destructive than any other ideology? That Religion cannot influence people at all? I can see nothing in any of those three claims that at all lead to the idea that Religion should be defended, so Help me Out here.

 

 

Maybe I'll write a post about that later.

 

And no, it's not that religion has no effect what so ever. It's not that we're a bunch robots determined to do what we do regardless of enviroment.

 

Quote:

In other countries, this situation is different. I would ask the Captain, if you truly believe that Religion cannot influence people, then do you honestly think all of the Men in the Middle East are just innately Misogynistic and want to throw rocks at people deep down in their heart of hearts? Are you willing to positively state that an entire ethnicity is inherently barbaric? Or is it rather, that because Religion is imbued with a supernatural quality and reverence, that it gains the power to override a person's personality? Or possibly, is it simply that they find in religion a, to Quote TheoWarner, "Social Permission to act with Cruelty, and without Empathy." If that is the case, would not religion still be worth fighting? Perhaps not to the death, but at least to the Pain, or possibly Irrelevance? Or possibly, humans might be fucking complex, and it might be a combination of all of these factors Possibly Maybe...

 

 

Atran studies this as well incidently.

 

 

Quote:


Tis an Important Subject. <Nods>And do I detect a bit of disdain in your post?  Possibly a continued belief in 'proper' sexual conduct?

 

People here have been trying to get me laid for two years. Not working.

 

 

 

Quote:

Let's turn it around so you can see the implications of your hypothesis.  If what you suggest is true, then the only logical conclusion is that Faith is not used as a justification for otherwise unjustifiable actions.  You repeatedly say that people try very hard to do what they instinctively want to do, but your hypothesis suggests that they DO NOT use the most LOGICAL justification available to them when they GENUINELY BELIEVE IT.

 

I never said that they don't use religion. I don't deny that religious people do nasty things.

 

I think you're underestimating the human power to rationalize.

 

 

http://www.amazon.ca/Mistakes-Were-Made-But-Not/dp/0151010986

 

 

 

 

You're familar of course with the Asch, do you know what the subjects said after Asch pointed out they picked the wrong line? 'Oh, it must have been poor judgement/eye sight" not the actual cause [conformity].

 

We humans are VERY good at rationalizing. The criminal knows damn well that holding a shotgun to a clerk's face and demanding money is illegal. But that doesn't stop him. "If I wear a mask, they won't regonize me!" "The cops are mostly at the doughnut shop I'll be long gone!" "My friend Joe will say that I was at his house during the robbery." Will taking away "Jesus will forgive me" really decrease his likely hood of knocking off the 7-11 given the above rationalizations?

 

 

 

Why does it matter if we take away "Jesus will forgive me", if he just uses "I won't get caught"?  Should we just pat ourselves on the back and say 'Well at least he didn't invoke God to justify his actions"?

 

 

It utterly baffles me why I have to tell a group of atheists on an atheist site, that God isn't literally talking to these people. If somebody hates gays, then their God hates gays. If somebody thinks gays should get married, their God thinks gays should get married. I don't think convincing them that their God is bullshit will get them to stop hating gays*

 

 

*[edit]

 

For the record Hamby, your anecdote of "I was Christian and I hated gays and now I do like gays" is as valid as my "I was more or less the same person when I was Christian and Deist as I am when I was and am now atheist.

 

[/edit]

 

 

 

 

 

 


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I don't know nothin' bout titlin' no posts!

The Good Captain wrote:
People here have been trying to get me laid for two years. Not working.

And nowhere did I at all point to your personal taste in sexuality, what I asked about, was your reaction to other's sexuality, and particularly, if you still turned your nose up to it.

This is really just my own curiosity as I remember a thread waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when that got onto the subject of your prudish-ness or not and other girls slutiness or not, and I remember making the claim that If you don't want others to judge you a prude, you should not judge them as sluts, or something like that, and I don't remember you ever directly responding to me or even broaching the subject again.

I am merely wondering if you would continue to have disdain for those with a few kinks in their fashion or sexual tendencies, or whether you have adopted a 'live and let live'  Worldview.  And just as allowing religious people to live in peace does not mean one has to embrace their lifestyle, so too does one not have to go out and have a bunch of kinky sex just because they are accepting that others do.

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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@capt/hamby:Maybe I have it

@capt/hamby:

Maybe I have it wrong, but it seems like you are arguing about religion mostly as an immediate cause for behavior while Hamby is arguing about religion mostly as an environmental factor.  Your 7-11 example seems to be another case where the two of you are not communicating on the same wavelength, because I don't think that example applies to anything Hamby has said up to this point.  Your example about gays is more pertinent, and I think I have to disagree...simply because if the person grows up in an environment where the religious community hates gays, the person is more likely to hate gays.

Where I seem to depart from Hamby is assigning religion some sort of special authority (but perhaps not, I have not seen a clear statement).  Any philosophy, secular or religious, that appeals to or claims to know capital t "Truth" is going to create an environment that decreases rationality about central doctrine.

What gets me confused is how you go from this,

"It utterly baffles me why I have to tell a group of atheists on an atheist site, that God isn't literally talking to these people. If somebody hates gays, then their God hates gays. If somebody thinks gays should get married, their God thinks gays should get married. I don't think convincing them that their God is bullshit will get them to stop hating gays*"

To this,

"And no, it's not that religion has no effect what so ever. It's not that we're a bunch robots determined to do what we do regardless of enviroment."

All in the same post.  Either religion influences the belief of a culture or it doesn't.  Are you just saying religious influence is minimal?  The spread of Islam drastically changed the face of middle eastern cultures, so I don't see how you can argue for that unless you are claiming those changes were based on secular ideas outside of religion.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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 Quote:Where I seem to

 

Quote:
Where I seem to depart from Hamby is assigning religion some sort of special authority (but perhaps not, I have not seen a clear statement).  Any philosophy, secular or religious, that appeals to or claims to know capital t "Truth" is going to create an environment that decreases rationality about central doctrine.

To clarify, I don't think religion has a special place.  I think FAITH has a special place.  Faith, by definition, is opposed to reason and trumps reason.  Any system of belief which glorifies the act of ignoring the evidence in favor of a preferred conclusion gives believers unique philosophical tools for justifying the unjustifiable.

My current favorite atheist blogger has said it better than me:

Quote:
The thing that uniquely defines religion, the thing that sets it apart from every other ideology or hypothesis or social network, is the belief in unverifiable supernatural entities. Of course it has other elements -- community, charity, philosophy, inspiration for art, etc. But those things exist in the secular world, too. They're not specific to religion. The thing that uniquely defines religion is belief in supernatural entities. Without that belief, it's not religion.

 

And with that belief, the capacity for religion to do harm gets cranked up to an alarmingly high level -- because there's no reality check.

 

Any other ideology or philosophy or hypothesis about the world is eventually expected to pony up. It's expected to prove itself true and/or useful, or else correct itself, or else fall by the wayside. With religion, that is emphatically not the case. Because religion is a belief in the invisible and unknowable -- and it's therefore never expected to prove that it's right, or even show good evidence for why it's right -- its capacity to do harm can spin into the stratosphere.

LINK

I quibble with Greta on a point of definition.  There can be, I believe, religion without deities.  Like... Buddhism, for example.  But if you replace the word "religion" with "faith based ideology" I agree with her a hundred percent.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: I

Hambydammit wrote:

 

I quibble with Greta on a point of definition.  There can be, I believe, religion without deities.  Like... Buddhism, for example.  But if you replace the word "religion" with "faith based ideology" I agree with her a hundred percent.

 

 

 

 

So Buddhism isn't faith based?

 

 

 

 


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 Buddhism isn't deity

 Buddhism isn't deity based.

 

There are faith based elements to parts of Buddhism.  The point on which I quibble with Greta is that I claim religion doesn't need a deity.  However, religion as I see it is necessarily at least partly faith-based.  If it was science based, we'd call it science, or at least "life philosophy" or something like that.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:They have

Hambydammit wrote:
They have the right to complete and scientifically/epistemologically accurate education.  (Yes, I mean I'm opposed to home schooling unless it is strictly controlled and monitored.)

Spoken like someone who has never raised a child to adulthood.

Trying to "brainwash" a child into believing a religion is generally pointless and stupid, and most parents realize that around the time a child is 12 or 13.  A lot of religious "brainwashing" in places like the US is trying to keep a kid from sexually reproducing.

My son used to tell people he was Jewish (he isn't -- my ex is a Christian and I agreed not to push the kid away from the Dark Side and into the Light of strict monotheism).  Now getting him to think anything positive of religion is a pain.

On the flip side, this "scientifically/epistemologically accurate education" is more likely to produce a Theist than anything -- if only because Theist still outnumber Atheists.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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 Quote:Spoken like someone

 

Quote:
Spoken like someone who has never raised a child to adulthood.

Trying to "brainwash" a child into believing a religion is generally pointless and stupid, and most parents realize that around the time a child is 12 or 13.  A lot of religious "brainwashing" in places like the US is trying to keep a kid from sexually reproducing.

My son used to tell people he was Jewish (he isn't -- my ex is a Christian and I agreed not to push the kid away from the Dark Side and into the Light of strict monotheism).  Now getting him to think anything positive of religion is a pain.

On the flip side, this "scientifically/epistemologically accurate education" is more likely to produce a Theist than anything -- if only because Theist still outnumber Atheists.

I can't find one thing in this little rant that merits a response.  So... this is all the response you're going to get.  Have a nice day.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hi Hambydammit,Where did you

Hi Hambydammit,

Where did you find this phrase? Have I missed something on this forum?

 


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mellestad wrote:What gets me

mellestad wrote:

What gets me confused is how you go from this,

"It utterly baffles me why I have to tell a group of atheists on an atheist site, that God isn't literally talking to these people. If somebody hates gays, then their God hates gays. If somebody thinks gays should get married, their God thinks gays should get married. I don't think convincing them that their God is bullshit will get them to stop hating gays*"

To this,

"And no, it's not that religion has no effect what so ever. It's not that we're a bunch robots determined to do what we do regardless of enviroment."

All in the same post.  Either religion influences the belief of a culture or it doesn't.  Are you just saying religious influence is minimal?  The spread of Islam drastically changed the face of middle eastern cultures, so I don't see how you can argue for that unless you are claiming those changes were based on secular ideas outside of religion.

 

Islam makes Muslims go to Mecca. I'm not saying that they would have went anyway and they might as well stop by the mosque.

 

The point of the matter is, is that we have intrinsic morality. [I believe it's beside the taste for salt/fat, but hey, it's just that and our sexual preference and general personality.]

 

I don't think a devout Christian such as Ken Miller is going on an abortion doctor outrage because he's in Christian culture and it gives him permission to do so.

It's not in his personality.

 

This is why psychologist can predict reactions to enviorment and behaviour relativly accuratly based on personality. Such as for example X personality type is more likely to cheat on their spouse. Now you may find people who have a low X type who cheat, or people with X who don't cheat, but people who are X are more likely to cheat.

Political ideaologies have been linked to personality traits for example. This is kinda hard to explain given Hamby's painfully and absurdly short list of things that are biologically based traits.

 

 

What Hamby fails to realize is that there are millions in the Chrisitan pro-life movement, where he claims encourages or at least condones shooting abortion doctors, and yet the overwhelming majority don't.

 

What's stopping them? They're in the radical pro-life movement and hence are surronded by people who despise abortion doctors, their social strucutre encourages hatred for abortion doctors, and yet no going postal for about 99.9999% of them.

 

He just loves saying something is an exception to the rule when he hasn't established the rule first. Those 5-20 people who shoot the doctors are the rule and the about 100 million who don't are the exception.  Kinda like saying the entire world lives in Portugal, and those that live in Sweden/Spain/Usa/Ukraine are the exception.

 

If he's right of course, the shooters should be the rule and those that just pray outside clinics would be the exception. This would be reflected in the numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 Pineapple, your

 Pineapple, your all-or-nothing thinking is making you look foolish.  Our taste for salt/fat, our general personality type, and our sexual preferences are the only things that have been substantially demonstrated to be essentially set from birth.  That's not to say that our other traits are not biological.  Um... duh.  I'm the guy who writes about how damn near everything we do is rooted in our biology.

This is very simple.  (The whole thing is very simple.  Why do you have so much trouble with it?)  You know... genotypes and phenotypes.  You've heard of them, right?  You've taken biology, right?

Put a goldfish in a small bowl and it will grow as large as it can and stop growing.  Put a goldfish in an open pond, and it will grow much larger.  The genes are the same, but the phenotype is different.   At birth, each human has a template -- a set range of possible gene expressions.  Depending on nutrition, pollution, etc, a given baby could grow as tall as say, 6'1" or maybe 6'2".  If conditions are really bad, maybe it'll only grow to 5'9".  Under no circumstances will he grow to 9'10".   6'1" (ish) is the limit of the genotype.  The actual height the baby grows to will be the phenotype expression.

Likewise, humans have a range of possible intellectual, emotional, and moral possibilities.  This is our genotype.  Within this very large range of possibilities, each one of us will land on one expression.  What shapes this expression?  THE SIZE OF THE GOLDFISH BOWL.  The environment.  Religious indoctrination is an ENVIRONMENT.  Rationalism is AN ENVIRONMENT.

But you believe that phenotype expression is immune from these two environments, because people are so biologically set in their actions that they'll always do exactly what they were going to do regardless of the environment.

And you know what?  That's nuts.  Your position is flat out nuts.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:But you

Hambydammit wrote:

But you believe that phenotype expression is immune from these two environments, because people are so biologically set in their actions that they'll always do exactly what they were going to do regardless of the environment.

And you know what?  That's nuts.  Your position is flat out nuts.

 

 


Stop with this strawman. I never said that enviroment has no effect. I never said that our behaviour is set in stone.

 

The actual fact of the matter is that personality is a rather good way of prediciting behaviour. No, it does NOT mean that the enviroment has no effect, that does not mean that the enviroment is irrelevant. What it does set a framework of how we would likely react to the enviroment.

 

I'll try to find that talk I saw posted here on how Democrats and Republicans are associated with their own personality traits. That is personality can be used to predict ideology! Does this mean that enviroment has no effect? NO! Does that mean you're not going to find people who don't fit the traits for Democrat who are still Democrat? NO!