Explain Scandinivia

Nikolaj
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Explain Scandinivia

There is one thing that I often bring up when posting on these forums, because I often see theists argue that atheism leads to a bleak and pointless existence, and that people will inevitably not be able to sustain an atheistic world view without becoming both nihilistic, and pessimistic at that.

Now, I wrote this response in this ( http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15459 ) thread, but I would like to hear answers from as many theists as possible, so I will post the question here.

I am from Denmark, and I wrote this:

Quote:
...to our OP:

If it is true that atheism leads to a bleak nihilistic outlook, then it follows that the more atheistic a society the more unhappy, or at least uprooted and aimless a society should be.

So explain Scandinivia. Please... It is so easy to draw absolute conclussions about things you know nothing about. Have you ever been to Denmark, Norway or Sweden?

And just to clarify, I like my country very much, but that's hardly surprising; most people have an emotional attachment to the culture that has shaped their personalities, but I am not saying that Denmark is a Utopia by any strech of the imagination.

I'm just saying that Denmark is a country in which people have families, jobs, hobbies, sports, art, politics, and everything else you'd expect to find in a human society.

Sure Denmark doesn't look the same as the US, or Russia, or Indonesia, but it's still normal people doing normal things.

If atheism is so fundementally un-viable to maintain the human condition, without people falling prey to their own existential angst, then how come people don't seem at all bothered here in Scandinavia?

Now this is in no way an argument against God's existence in and of itself, nor is it intended to be. I would just like to hear theist's thoughts on this.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


magilum
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The presidential race is

The presidential race is looking uncomfortably close for me here. Um... do you guys need any ActionScript developers?

 


Nikolaj
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Sure we do. Denmark is

Sure we do. Denmark is basically one big tertiary economy. That is hardly anyone works with extracting or refining raw materials, except for a modest farming industry. Sweden and Norway have steel and oil respectively, but they are still mostly tertiary ecomnomies.

/rant about Danish politics on

Our prime minister has infact anounced a goal for Denmark, that we shall become the number 1 IT country in the world.

...Yearh, I know, but I didn't vote for him. Sure, lofty goals are good, but he's basically just trying to appease worries from his base that Denmark won't be able to sustain their high social standards, which is ironic, since I think he's really a true American neo-con at heart, that would like nothing better than to dismantle every staterun institution in Denmark, but he's too much of a politician to admit it.

He just does what it takes to stay in power, which is maintaining our social-democratic economy. So he's both a crazy right-winger, and a coward, more concerned with staying in power than being true to his own ideology.

/rant off

 

P.S: I hope "ActionScript" has something to do with computers, otherwise I'm looking a right fool now, aren't I? Eye-wink

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


latincanuck
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Pissed off Atheist

This what I think most theists encounter in North America, the atheist that is basically pissed off about the massive influence that religion has in their society. Now not every atheist in the North American society is pissed off, but I believe this is the encounter many theists remember, the nihilistic, pissed off atheist.

Living in Canada, I must say that my circle of friends are mostly atheists, society itself is mainly secular, yes we have religious influences as we are a multicultural society with everything from Hindus, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and in between living together, that for the most part live in peace.

Although I will express my personal opinion that I do not trust for the most part the Muslim population, only because of recent events in which they are trying to change the secular society laws to sharia laws which I completely disagree with, no religious laws at all. That and the teachings of terrorists influences in their mosques...with the conviction of a minor, with a group of 17 others that were going to detonate bombs in Canadian capital, storm Parliament hill and try to behead the prime minister so that they could get their demands met. As much as the Muslim society in Canada said that they were not part of mainstream Muslim beliefs, they however preached in their mosques this ideologies, and imams knew about it.....ok enough of that rant.

A secular society or atheistic society can strive quite well it's just that religious folks cannot fathom a world or a society that does not believe in god that will survive or be good as they are taught that you can only be good if you believe in god....part of the brainwashing and fear tactics.


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Nikolaj wrote:I would just

Nikolaj wrote:
I would just like to hear theist's thoughts on this.

Me too.

No takers yet ?

Fine, I'll keep bumping this till one of them replies.


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Religion in the western

Religion in the western world is in its death throes (not just Denmark). You are simply unelectable if you openly chrisitian in most countries of course America is the exception but even there , there is evidence that religion has peaked.

Of course we have extremist religious groups (UK especially) but the idea they have any direct political power is a joke. Most people would rathe admit to being gay than going to church here

 


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Still nothing ? Didn't we

Still nothing ?

Didn't we have a whole bunch of those atheism-leads-to-moral-decay people on the board ?

Where'd they go ?


magilum
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Nikolaj wrote:Sure we do.

Nikolaj wrote:

Sure we do. Denmark is basically one big tertiary economy. That is hardly anyone works with extracting or refining raw materials, except for a modest farming industry. Sweden and Norway have steel and oil respectively, but they are still mostly tertiary ecomnomies. [...]

P.S: I hope "ActionScript" has something to do with computers, otherwise I'm looking a right fool now, aren't I? Eye-wink

Yes, yes -- I'm the nerd of the technology du jour.

I'll be showing up at the border with my luggage, come November.


magilum
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latincanuck wrote:This what

latincanuck wrote:

This what I think most theists encounter in North America, the atheist that is basically pissed off about the massive influence that religion has in their society. Now not every atheist in the North American society is pissed off, but I believe this is the encounter many theists remember, the nihilistic, pissed off atheist.

Living in Canada, I must say that my circle of friends are mostly atheists, society itself is mainly secular, yes we have religious influences as we are a multicultural society with everything from Hindus, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and in between living together, that for the most part live in peace. [...]

Hey, we're not one homogenous Kentuckyland. My hometown (read: loose collection of distant suburbs) of Los Angeles is very secular. I don't think I've met a fundamentalist here, ever. Most of the people I know are either atheists, agnostics in the colloquial sense, or vaguely nihilistic spiritualists. But I haven't met anyone crippled by the actual nuts and bolts of their faith; that is they are, thankfully, living in blissful states of total hypocrisy. Which is the only sane and moral way to be, if you're going to profess a monstrous religion like Christianity.


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Nikolaj wrote:Now, I wrote

Nikolaj wrote:
Now, I wrote this response in this ( http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15459 ) thread, but I would like to hear answers from as many theists as possible, so I will post the question here.

I had a look, and you didn't get a theist response in that thread either.

So I'm bumping this again.

Wake up, theist people !


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Bumping is hardly necessary

Bumping is hardly necessary on this site. Topics don't drop off the page in a day. It takes closer to a week.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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A few misconceptions about Norway

 Interestingly enough Norway used to have a priest as their prime minister. It is one of the few countries in the world with a state religion (lutheran christianity) and a state church. As it happens at least two thirds of the parliament have to be members of the state church.

 Most people don't openly confess to religion, but charismatic groups, such as the evangelicals etc. are really on the rise here. As it happens, it seems to be the case in Denmark too.  Norway is also one of the last countries to have mandatory christian teachings removed from its syllabus just a couple of years ago, so I think you guys are somewhat mistaken about the so-called 'public atheism' in Norway. Sure its still a very secular country, but most people still marry, get baptized and so on in church - a church sponsored by tax-payers. 

 The interesting thing is that our church minister is the highest ranked authority within the church. Furthermore the church has to follow the legislation imposed on it by parliament. Parliament also appoint bishops, although under discrete advice from the church council. 

 The main idea in Norway is that state intervention has kept the church from isolating itself from society, meaning that they allow female priests, gay priests, gay partnership and so on. They still have a long way to go, but within the premises of religion they are fairly progressive I'd say. They also help out with alot of foreign diplomacy, especially within countries that are already religious, such as most countries in Africa and so on. 

 So to claim that we're a nation of atheists - not true. But to say that the people who indeed practice  religion here has a pretty pragmatic and 'secular' approach to their relgion would be more true I'd say.

 

 We still draw upon a number of moral and cultural traditions from christianity being the sole religion for a thousand years. It is having less and less of an impact, but its pretty much pointless to say that we're an atheist society

ake the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

- Henrik Ibsen


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I know what you you are

I know what you you are getting at NorwayDude. People are members of the statechurch here too, but that's hardly a good way to get an impression of what the culture of religion is like here.

Have you ever met anyone in your life that went to church every sunday? Ever met anyone who mentioned God in any conversation ever? Have you ever met a homophobe or a racist or male chauvanist that justified their position using religion?

I know I haven't.

When a preacher came out here and publicaly said he didn't actually believe in a personal God at all, the public debate showed that half the country supported him, and the other half argued that he shouldn't be a preacher, but only because it doesn't make sense to be a preacher with that world view, not because they thought his view was "wrong".

I mean, is that a religious country?

There's a difference in maintaining traditions for the sake of traditions, and activally believing in supernatural stories.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


DudefromNorway
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 I guess you´re right to

 I guess you´re right to an extent - but then again, what is it to be a religious person? When it comes to the cultural part of it I´d say that most people here are culturally christian: They share most moral values christians have, they have the same rituals (celebrate christmas and so on), but yeah: I guess most people don´t go to church to praise God.

 As it happens, the church does have a vital role in events such as death, birth and marriage. But I agree that it is nothing but an empty shell - a backdrop for rituals that have taken upon it new meaning in a new era. 

 Funnily it seems as if there is an inverse relationship between religion and welfare: The higher a country ranks upon the OECD or UN rankings of welfare, the less religious they seem to be. But which way does that correlation go - are they wealthy because they aren´t religious, or not religious because they are wealthy - I choose to think the latter.

 If you look at the statistics, you´ll find that alot of born-again christians are people who have experienced some sort of despair in their life, or someone who´s about to (ie. convicts, rehabilitated drug addicts, old people and so on). When the rest of society turns it backs upon them it seems as if the religious groups are the only ones who for some reason or another cares. I´d love to see the same dedication from groups without some sort of religious anchorage, but sadly its pretty absent around here in Oslo - a reason why religious relief organizations such as the salvation army and the "Kirkens bymisjon" is held in high esteem here in Norway.

 The main thesis proclaimed is that "atheist societies are more moral and happy than religious" - The problem is what came first: The chicken or the egg. Religion may cause relief in countries with no future prospects except an afterlife, whereas its pragmatic use is gone here in Scandinavia, but we were religious only 20-30 years ago, and if you look at so-called "happiness indexes", you´ll find that increased public and private wealth hasn´t increased our innate sense of happiness. 

 Sorry that I´m really bad at organizing my posts

ake the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

- Henrik Ibsen


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You raise some interesting

You raise some interesting points, that mirror my own opinions alot, and maybe I'll comment on them later, but you say one thing that it is important that I clear up for you, and everyone else reading this thread:


DudefromNorway wrote:
The main thesis proclaimed is that "atheist societies are more moral and happy than religious"
The point I bring up is not that Scandinavia is more moral and happy than other places, because even if it is, that doesn't mean it's because Scandinavia is more atheistic. Corelation doesn't equal causation. And indeed, I'm not ready to argue that Scandinavia is more moral and happy, that's a rather selfconfident stance to take without studying alot of sociology first. Remember, I say in the OP that I don't consider Denmark the greatest place in the world. It's just not completely fucked either.

And the thesis of some theists (for example TrueBeliever, who was the one I was adressing with the question I reposted in the OP) is that atheism leads to depression and immorality, and I point out that if this was the case, then there should be a causal link between the level of atheism in a region, and the level of depression, nihilism and immorality in said region.

So I'm not saying Denmark is evidence that atheism will result in a good society. Like you point out, other thing could be (and probably are) the reasons that Denmark is a fairly well functioning society.

But Denmark is evidence that atheism does not destroy a society, and that is my only point. I'm just arguing against the argument that atheism will inevitably lead to a terrible, aimless, harsh and immoral society.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


DudefromNorway
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 Sorry dude...I just

 Sorry dude...I just misread your post.

He he..The funny counter argument would be that it already is destroyed because it has turned away from God Eye-wink. Its invalid to us, but makes perfect sense to, say, a muslim.

 Another interesting fact is that Scandinavia has a really high suicide rate, but I´d rather blame that on alienation and a lack of sunlight than a lack of religion. 

ake the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

- Henrik Ibsen


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Yearh, the best argument

Yearh, the best argument I've heard was the Suicide rate argument. This actually came from someone before I'd posed the question above. But I'd still say that if other countries have a suicide rate of 1% and Scandinavia has a rate of 2% that's hardly the symptom of a society that has plumeted into utter despair and depravity.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Religious people should read

Religious people should read themselves up on Collinearity..especially perfect multicollinearity..Id might shed some light on all that "circumstantial evidence"

ake the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

- Henrik Ibsen


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Societal Health

Nikolaj wrote:

And the thesis of some theists (for example TrueBeliever, who was the one I was adressing with the question I reposted in the OP) is that atheism leads to depression and immorality, and I point out that if this was the case, then there should be a causal link between the level of atheism in a region, and the level of depression, nihilism and immorality in said region.

So I'm not saying Denmark is evidence that atheism will result in a good society. Like you point out, other thing could be (and probably are) the reasons that Denmark is a fairly well functioning society.

But Denmark is evidence that atheism does not destroy a society, and that is my only point. I'm just arguing against the argument that atheism will inevitably lead to a terrible, aimless, harsh and immoral society.

 

 

Quite the reverse that it does not destroy a society.  All the surveys I have come across say that the less impact religion has the better the societal health ...see link below.  I think that the better the education levels across the board the less liklihood of superstition being acceptable and the side effect of better education is a more productive, wealthier society.  

Quote:  "Belief in God may provide comfort to the individual believer, but, at the societal level, its results do not compare at all favorably with that of the more secular societies. When seeking a more civil, just, safe, humane, and healthy society, one is more likely to find it among those nations ranking low in religious faith-contrary to the preaching of religious folks". 

  http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=pzuckerman_26_5

............................................................

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition". - Isaac Asimov


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Nikolaj wrote:Yearh, the

Nikolaj wrote:

Yearh, the best argument I've heard was the Suicide rate argument. This actually came from someone before I'd posed the question above. But I'd still say that if other countries have a suicide rate of 1% and Scandinavia has a rate of 2% that's hardly the symptom of a society that has plumeted into utter despair and depravity.

From what I recall the rate of suicide is higher in countries that experience long winters, (longer nights and shorter days) and if I recall Scandinavia experiences long winters.


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Thanks for the article

Thanks for the article Future Indefinite. An interesting read.

 

I found this in the article, which is relevant to the suicide thing you and I were talking earlier NorwayDude

Quote:
A country's suicide rate stands out as the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization's report on international male suicide rates (http://www.who.int/en/), the nations with the lowest rates of suicide were all highly religious, characterized by extremely high levels of theism (usually of the Muslim and Catholic varieties). Of the ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, five were distinctly irreligious nations ranked among the top twenty-five nations listed earlier. These five are Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Russia, and Slovenia. It is interesting to note that of the nations currently experiencing the highest rates of suicide-including the five just mentioned-nearly all are former Soviet/communist-dominated societies. (The nations of Scandinavia, where organic atheism is strongest, do not have the highest suicide rates in the world, as is widely thought to be the case.)

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


Anonymouse
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It's been a week,

It's been a week, so..bump.

Sorry, hate to be a nuisance, but I'd really like at least one theist reaction to Nik's OP.


JillSwift
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Anonymouse wrote:It's been a

Anonymouse wrote:
It's been a week, so..bump. Sorry, hate to be a nuisance, but I'd really like at least one theist reaction to Nik's OP.
Don't hold your breath.

It's my experience that anyone who holds true such nonsense as "being irreligious/atheistic means you have no moral base" bolster their position by carefully ignoring evidence to the contrary.

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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magilum wrote:Hey, we're not

magilum wrote:

Hey, we're not one homogenous Kentuckyland.

fuck off!!!  i'm from kentucky, and i don't know why we always get pinned with the same crazy shit as tennessee, georgia, louisiana, etc.  eastern kentucky, anyway, is full of mostly stubborn, individualistic mountain people who have very diverse opinions.  most are culturally christian and the crazy pentecostals are usually seen as, well, crazy.  the majority of the people in the area where i come from are small tobacco farmers who vote democrat (for different reasons than most), have no opinion on evolution, and hold, under all the sunday school gunk, vague deistic or pantheistic beliefs.  you don't really see the "HELL IS REAL" signs and shit until you cross the tennessee border.  you might see a few in the far west of the state (when you're getting towards kansas and their creationist school boards), but that's it.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Cpt_pineapple
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I have a better idea. You

I have a better idea. You Scandinavians explain this:

 


Anonymouse
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"video no longer available"

"video no longer available"


Nikolaj
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Yearh Pinapple. I'm

Yearh Pinapple. I'm intrigued. Please find another link, or explain the video


Badbark
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Another interesting read

Sorry if this has been posted before but I discovered this site a few days ago

http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/best.html

The 'Aid to Developing Countries' section is a bit of an eye opener.


MichaelMcF
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Barbie Girl...

Scandinavia does have a lot to answer for in the crappy pop department... Sticking out tongue

 

M


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Do you guys have updated

Do you guys have updated flash players?

 

Here's a link

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mseKIqmuaE

 

 


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I don't feel the need to

I don't feel the need to explain Scandinavia, just to sit back and admire it.  The only thing that I could ask for is maybe for you guys to build some more boats and start raiding coastlines again.  Those were the days.  Oh, and maybe demote your remaining royals to regular citizenship by act of Parliament.  Really the last thing you need to do.

 

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


Anonymouse
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Cpt_pineapple

Oh, that's nothing. Try this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYT2aWavXlc


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'explain

'explain scandinavia'...

Well, you see, once upon a time, there were these really, really big ice sheets, and they weighed down the land. As they moved southward, they gouged out huge basins and fissures in their path. Eventually, they retreated into the high mountains, and the land, no longer so weighed down, rose up into highland plateaus. The lower-lying basin regions became the Baltic, and the... huh? OH... ohhhh.... you meant... ohhhhhh...

Ok, that's actually pretty easy. See, Scandinavia's actually just reaping the benefits of their Christianity. Here's how it works: You get one (1) Period of Major Prosperity (PoMP) while not really worshipping (insert your preferred name for a monotheistic deity), and it's paid for with faith and piety in other epochs.

Ex:

Greece. They got their PoMP back in the days of Alexander. Then they got absorbed in with the Romans, and kinda piggy-backed onto their PoMP, but you have to admit, it just wasn't as good for them. Afterward, they got all Orthodox. - Still Paying.

Italy/Rome. Same basic story as Greece, but just got started a little later. - Still Paying

United States. Interesting balance of 'not really worshipping' and 'total fundie whackos' generates PoMP in the mid/late 20th. Excessive baby-killing outside of theologically-sanctioned maternal stonings, worshipping in the late '80s of Billy Idol (along with earlier worshipping of various Matinee Idols) threatens to end PoMP. Legalization of gay marriage in Massachussetts causes terrorist attacks in NYC, Washington, D.C., and almost unimaginable disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Mississippi Basin flooding on a yearly basis since approximately 1980, and the 2008 Presidential Campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)... and basically brings down the wrath of God on all parts of the country not legalizing gay marriage, further demonstrating that not only is God an angry and jealous one, but his aim sucks,too. - Possibly still able to save PoMP if the entire State of Mass. (and now Connecticutt, too!) is sacrificed to The Lord by Pat Robertson, and Sen. McCain is elected President so he can have a massive brain tumor discovered 2 days before his Inauguration, prompting Dick Cheney to seize power by shooting in the face any who oppose him.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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BMcD wrote: United States.

BMcD wrote:

 

United States. Interesting balance of 'not really worshipping' and 'total fundie whackos' generates PoMP in the mid/late 20th. Excessive baby-killing outside of theologically-sanctioned maternal stonings, worshipping in the late '80s of Billy Idol (along with earlier worshipping of various Matinee Idols) threatens to end PoMP. Legalization of gay marriage in Massachussetts causes terrorist attacks in NYC, Washington, D.C., and almost unimaginable disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Mississippi Basin flooding on a yearly basis since approximately 1980, and the 2008 Presidential Campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)... and basically brings down the wrath of God on all parts of the country not legalizing gay marriage, further demonstrating that not only is God an angry and jealous one, but his aim sucks,too. - Possibly still able to save PoMP if the entire State of Mass. (and now Connecticutt, too!) is sacrificed to The Lord by Pat Robertson, and Sen. McCain is elected President so he can have a massive brain tumor discovered 2 days before his Inauguration, prompting Dick Cheney to seize power by shooting in the face any who oppose him.

  I know that being an atheist means I don't accept supernatural explanations, but   ..... are you channeling the departed spirit of George Carlin ?        Funny stuff !

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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DamnDirtyApe wrote:Oh, and

DamnDirtyApe wrote:
Oh, and maybe demote your remaining royals to regular citizenship by act of Parliament.  Really the last thing you need to do.

I agree with this. Unfortunately, to get rid of them requires changing the constitution (at least in Sweden), which in turn requires two acts of parlament with a general election in between. For some reason the monarchy is popular (I suspect because the princesses are hot), so no political party persues getting rid of them, even the ones who have the abolishment of the monarchy in their party programs.


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Nikolaj wrote:Our prime

Nikolaj wrote:

Our prime minister has infact anounced a goal for Denmark, that we shall become the number 1 IT country in the world.

Has anyone in Denmark discussed how it's possible to attract IT professionals to stay and work when their income taxes are among the highest in the world? Why would an IT company locate in Denmark with it's moderate business taxes?

Isn't the main point of IT technology to enable people to work and communicate anywhere in the world, so the #1 IT country is going to be the one with the lowest taxes not the highest?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote: Has anyone in

EXC wrote:
Has anyone in Denmark discussed how it's possible to attract IT professionals to stay and work when their income taxes are among the highest in the world?
No EXC. Not one person has even considered this for a moment. No one in this entire country has even considered this for a moment. Our Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is the one advocating the idea, is an economic liberal, and even he hasn't even thought of this for a moment.

Only you, EXC, in your infinite wisdom, is capable of spotting this fact, while all the rest of the world just doesn't get it.

It amazes me how you persist in asking such incredibly stupid questions. You're not the only libetarian in the world you know, nor are you the smartest libetarian in the world.

For your information I think our Prime Minister is a git, and he clearly doesn't get the subtleties of the interaction between education and free enterprise.

he thinks Universities are huge factories that produce the raw materials (that is, University graduates) for the "IT-Industry" and other industries, and so, has put various education reforms in place to "optimize" the University level education system.

Meanwhile, University attendance is dropping rapidly these years, so his education reform isn't doing jack shit.

What he doesn't get is that potential university graduates are people, not products, and you can't expect them to behave in a specific maner. Well, you can, but not by simply basing every observation you make on "Free Market" libetarian ideals. They'll act based on alot of factors, including family-life, and cultural preferences.

Some might get into Research and Development of new IT products, and some will just become rank-and-file employees in various IT-related fields, while still others will move to London, like the bloke in the article you linked to in the Rational Politics thread. He is a one-off example of someone who left Denmark, because of high taxes, but notice that he found a Spanish wife and settled in London. What if he had found a Danish wife, who wanted to live close to her family? What if he had family and friends that he wouldn't leave behind for a career? What if he had been raised by a family who had many prejudices against the English, and thus loathed the idea of living in London?

You see, people aren't so easily put in boxes as you would like them to be. When people make big decisions about their life and their careers many factors play in, not just: "Where will I earn the most money and pay the least taxes?".

Our P.M. needs to study alot more sociology, anthropology, and behavioral psychology, before he can expect to make a reasonable economic policy for our country. Fields of study that you might want to look into yourself, EXC, before you draw anymore inevitable conclutions about "human nature".

You act as though you have every little detail of Human Civilisation figured out, and yet, your "understanding" of human nature looks suspiciously like you got it all from reading a few pages of Adam Smith... If that. More likely, you got it from listening to 5 minutes of Ron Paul talking points.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Nikolaj wrote:, while still

Nikolaj wrote:

, while still others will move to London, like the bloke in the article you linked to in the Rational Politics thread. He is a one-off example of someone who left Denmark, because of high taxes, but notice that he found a Spanish wife and settled in London.

 

Notice also he moved to London, which is in England, which is WAAAYYYYY more liberal and Socialistic than the US.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Nikolaj wrote:You act as

Nikolaj wrote:

You act as though you have every little detail of Human Civilisation figured out, and yet, your "understanding" of human nature looks suspiciously like you got it all from reading a few pages of Adam Smith... If that. More likely, you got it from listening to 5 minutes of Ron Paul talking points.

One of the main purposes of IT technology is to enable people to get around barriers (like geography and high taxes). So if he really wants to live in Denmark and take advantage of all the 'free' government giveaways, he could just work for a company based in a tax haven country that will allow him to telecommute from Denmark. Danes like to travel so why not work in a tax haven country for half the year then go back to Denmark and get your free medical, dental, etc...?

The only way to stop this is to have Shizzle's Global Big Brother that invades every one's privacy, monitors all Internet traffic(impossible with encryption) and tortures all violators.

They can't even stop software piracy, how can they stop this? So, if people decide on a tax system other than pay as you go, technology will be developed to go around it.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Nikolaj wrote:There is one

Nikolaj wrote:

There is one thing that I often bring up when posting on these forums, because I often see theists argue that atheism leads to a bleak and pointless existence, and that people will inevitably not be able to sustain an atheistic world view without becoming both nihilistic, and pessimistic at that.

Now, I wrote this response in this ( http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15459 ) thread, but I would like to hear answers from as many theists as possible, so I will post the question here.

I am from Denmark, and I wrote this:

Quote:
...to our OP:

If it is true that atheism leads to a bleak nihilistic outlook, then it follows that the more atheistic a society the more unhappy, or at least uprooted and aimless a society should be.

So explain Scandinivia. Please... It is so easy to draw absolute conclussions about things you know nothing about. Have you ever been to Denmark, Norway or Sweden?

And just to clarify, I like my country very much, but that's hardly surprising; most people have an emotional attachment to the culture that has shaped their personalities, but I am not saying that Denmark is a Utopia by any strech of the imagination.

I'm just saying that Denmark is a country in which people have families, jobs, hobbies, sports, art, politics, and everything else you'd expect to find in a human society.

Sure Denmark doesn't look the same as the US, or Russia, or Indonesia, but it's still normal people doing normal things.

If atheism is so fundementally un-viable to maintain the human condition, without people falling prey to their own existential angst, then how come people don't seem at all bothered here in Scandinavia?

Now this is in no way an argument against God's existence in and of itself, nor is it intended to be. I would just like to hear theist's thoughts on this.

It's because countries in Scandinavia have a strong Christian tradition. The way it's going with people dropping out of church, your society will be more immoral.

I'm an agnostic atheist who thinks you should love your neughbour.


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LoveThyNeighbour, you don't

LoveThyNeighbour, you don't know what you're talking about.


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LoveThyNeighbour wrote:It's

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:

It's because countries in Scandinavia have a strong Christian tradition. The way it's going with people dropping out of church, your society will be more immoral.

so...ok, let me get this straight.  now, as nikolaj has told us, it's clear that, chronologically at least, scandinavian society functions better and better the more de-christianized it becomes.  i won't make an illogical correlation between the two--however, maybe nikolaj can use data to furnish us with a logical correlation--but i will say that, chronologically, the phenomena of dechristianization and the increase in the standard of living in scandinavia coincide.

so, my question for you is this: are they still coasting on fumes from the christian middle ages or what?  will it take a while for god's righteous judgment to catch up with scandinavia's "immorality"?

please answer.  don't be one of those cowardly drive-by assholes.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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LoveThyNeighbour wrote:It's

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:
It's because countries in Scandinavia have a strong Christian tradition.

What do you know about Scandinavia?

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:
The way it's going with people dropping out of church, your society will be more immoral.

Oh yeah, because we know there's an obvious inverse relationship between the two. (ha)

Your argument has already been proven false. People in secular societies tend to have longer life spans and better living conditions. These societies also have less crime.  

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:What do you know

 

Quote:
What do you know about Scandinavia?

I live in Scandinavia. I am a true, pure Swede. Jag är svensk. God blesses Sweden, not selfish commies like you!

Quote:
Oh yeah, because we know there's an obvious inverse relationship between the two. (ha)

Your argument has already been proven false. People in secular societies tend to have longer life spans and better living conditions. These societies also have less crime.  

That's because they have had true Christian traditions. They will fall because of man's sin.

I'm an agnostic atheist who thinks you should love your neughbour.


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iwbiek

iwbiek wrote:

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:

It's because countries in Scandinavia have a strong Christian tradition. The way it's going with people dropping out of church, your society will be more immoral.

so...ok, let me get this straight.  now, as nikolaj has told us, it's clear that, chronologically at least, scandinavian society functions better and better the more de-christianized it becomes.  i won't make an illogical correlation between the two--however, maybe nikolaj can use data to furnish us with a logical correlation--but i will say that, chronologically, the phenomena of dechristianization and the increase in the standard of living in scandinavia coincide.

so, my question for you is this: are they still coasting on fumes from the christian middle ages or what?  will it take a while for god's righteous judgment to catch up with scandinavia's "immorality"?

please answer.  don't be one of those cowardly drive-by assholes.

There are still a few True Christians around, but once they fall to sin, Satan will overtake all Scandinavians' minds, and they will make great atrocities in their blind rage against God.

I'm an agnostic atheist who thinks you should love your neughbour.


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LoveThyNeighbour

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:

It's because countries in Scandinavia have a strong Christian tradition. The way it's going with people dropping out of church, your society will be more immoral.

so...ok, let me get this straight.  now, as nikolaj has told us, it's clear that, chronologically at least, scandinavian society functions better and better the more de-christianized it becomes.  i won't make an illogical correlation between the two--however, maybe nikolaj can use data to furnish us with a logical correlation--but i will say that, chronologically, the phenomena of dechristianization and the increase in the standard of living in scandinavia coincide.

so, my question for you is this: are they still coasting on fumes from the christian middle ages or what?  will it take a while for god's righteous judgment to catch up with scandinavia's "immorality"?

please answer.  don't be one of those cowardly drive-by assholes.

There are still a few True Christians around, but once they fall to sin, Satan will overtake all Scandinavians' minds, and they will make great atrocities in their blind rage against God.

I think you've confused "answering a question" with "spew endless platitudes and meaningless drivel based on delusions". Don't worry though, it's very common among christians. You are not alone!


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Then why does the USA, whic

Then why does the USA, whic has much higher levels of belief in God have much more crime than Scandinavia? Why are so few Atheists convicted of crimes and sent to prisons in the US, proportionally even fewer than the number in society at large?

Why is there no evidence anywhere that lower levels of religious belief seem to be associated with higher levels of crime?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:Then why

BobSpence1 wrote:

Then why does the USA, whic has much higher levels of belief in God have much more crime than Scandinavia? Why are so few Atheists convicted of crimes and sent to prisons in the US, proportionally even fewer than the number in society at large?

Why is there no evidence anywhere that lower levels of religious belief seem to be associated with higher levels of crime?

The yankee courts are conspirating against True and Honest Christians. Since atheists have no morals, that's the only plausible answer.

I'm an agnostic atheist who thinks you should love your neughbour.


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LoveThyNeighbour

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Then why does the USA, whic has much higher levels of belief in God have much more crime than Scandinavia? Why are so few Atheists convicted of crimes and sent to prisons in the US, proportionally even fewer than the number in society at large?

Why is there no evidence anywhere that lower levels of religious belief seem to be associated with higher levels of crime?

The yankee courts are conspirating against True and Honest Christians. Since atheists have no morals, that's the only plausible answer.

Apart from the even more plausible answer that you are simply wrong in your belief that you can only be moral if you are a "True and Honest Christian". Your are only a fallible human, and can be mistaken about any of your beliefs/assumptions, just as much as we can.


 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Then why does the USA, whic has much higher levels of belief in God have much more crime than Scandinavia? Why are so few Atheists convicted of crimes and sent to prisons in the US, proportionally even fewer than the number in society at large?

Why is there no evidence anywhere that lower levels of religious belief seem to be associated with higher levels of crime?

The yankee courts are conspirating against True and Honest Christians. Since atheists have no morals, that's the only plausible answer.

Apart from the even more plausible answer that you are simply wrong in your belief that you can only be moral if you are a "True and Honest Christian". Your are only a fallible human, and can be mistaken about any of your beliefs/assumptions, just as much as we can.


 

 

We're all fallible disciples under his Lord, even me I confess. But I have spoken to the Lord directly, which means I have a better insight into his Holiness plans, unlike you.

I'm an agnostic atheist who thinks you should love your neughbour.


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LoveThyNeighbour wrote:We're

LoveThyNeighbour wrote:
We're all fallible disciples under his Lord, even me I confess. But I have spoken to the Lord directly, which means I have a better insight into his Holiness plans, unlike you.
No, we're all fallible because we're human.  Whether you admit to this fallibility or not is inconsequential.  You will have to prove to us that you have spoken directly to that which you claim is god.  The more probable reality, however, is that you are lying.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."