How do you differientiate the underlying cause?

Cpt_pineapple
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How do you differientiate the underlying cause?

I've been thinking as to whether religion makes people do what they would not normally do.

 

But I quickly hit a brick wall, when I noticed that Theists generally tend to personalize everything into their religion.

 

For example, Hitler thought he was doing the Lord's work, but then again so did Martin Luther King.

 

A Hamas suicide bomber says he's dedicated to God, but then again, so will the Red Cross worker who is helping with humanitarian aid.

 

To compound the situation even more, there are secular groups that contribute to the aid [Doctors without borders for example] and secular groups that contribute to the suicide bombings [PFLP for example]

 

To me, this makes it extremely difficult to determine the underlying cause.

 

Take a quote like "I feel God has chosen me to do this. This oppertunity is truly a gift from God." without a source, and I cannot tell if it's a terrorist, a humanitarian aid worker, or a guy who really likes working at his job.

 

 

So how exactly do we determine if they would or wouldn't have done it if they had not believed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Here are thoughts I've heard

Here are thoughts I've heard from hard-core Evangelists...

Examples of Atheist murders (i.e. those whom did not kill in god's name and who's total number of murders far exceed the escapes of organized religions throughout history are: Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Chairman Mao.

The claim is that they were all Atheists and they killed numbers of people that can't even be compared to those killed in the name of gods.


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That's not what

That's not what cpt_pineapple's asking, here.

 

....Wish I had an answer, but I haven't a damn clue.

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There doesn't exist a way to

There doesn't exist a way to test it Sad

Knowing this though, I think that without any god to use as support for personal choices a person may not feel as right to act against the rest of humanity.  Skepticism saves lives.

(A person can rationally understand morality and reasons to do good; a person can rationally understand immorality and reasons to not do bad...  without any gods)

 

*edits*


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crazymonkie wrote:That's not

crazymonkie wrote:

That's not what cpt_pineapple's asking, here.

 

....Wish I had an answer, but I haven't a damn clue.

Turn your head around 180 degrees.

I guarantee your head will still be directly on the same linear path as you've been thinking.


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This isn't going to surprise

This isn't going to surprise you in the least, dear Cap'n:

Human behavior is almost always multivalent. Religion is just one possible valance.

Is religion the root cause for any given action of a group or individual? Likely no.

Root causes are more likely to be our most basic instincts for survival; access to resources, sex, social concerns and the like. Social/cultural constructs then act on those basic instincts to derive specific patterns of action and intent.

People going to church/mosque/synagogue likely do it as a member of an in-group social instinct, with the religion being only the common factor that produces the in-group.

Suicide bombers are more likely to be initially encouraged by cultural/in-group pressures first, with religion being not an individual valance but a cultural facet. (This, to me, makes clear why suicide bombers and their ilk can be educated, intelligent, and from non-impoverished areas.)

More generally, religion is often an afterthought and played little if any role in the decision. "Thank God for this wonderful opportunity." uttered by someone with a new job they like was unlikely to be following any religious tenets when they were seeking the job - and if they were it wasn't part of the actual decision making process but some ritual (such as prayer) they thought would aid in controlling random factors. Even those seeking religious work likely started with a more basic need first - "I want to help" "I want to be special" "I want to lead", etc.

In learning about this, I also learned that the method for peeling back these onion layers is by starting with the questions "What's common across cultures? What's common with similar species? What does the archaeological evidence say about older and pre-history cultures?"

I hope this helps some.

"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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treat2 wrote:crazymonkie

treat2 wrote:
crazymonkie wrote:

That's not what cpt_pineapple's asking, here.

 

....Wish I had an answer, but I haven't a damn clue.

Turn your head around 180 degrees. I guarantee your head will still be directly on the same linear path as you've been thinking.

Enjoy not making sense and asking exactly the same question in, like, four threads in the space of a day? Because I'm enjoying you enjoying it.

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If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:So how

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

So how exactly do we determine if they would or wouldn't have done it if they had not believed?

Isn't this a permutation of the Hitchens challenge? That is, to find an example of a good deed that could be done only by a believer (difficult) and then find a terrible deed that could only be done by a believer (easy).

Now, I'll admit that the challenge is really an example of a kind of confirmation bias, but your question hints at the answer.

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HisWillness wrote:Isn't this

HisWillness wrote:

Isn't this a permutation of the Hitchens challenge? That is, to find an example of a good deed that could be done only by a believer (difficult) and then find a terrible deed that could only be done by a believer (easy).

Now, I'll admit that the challenge is really an example of a kind of confirmation bias, but your question hints at the answer.

 

 

Well, the Hitchen challenge, seems to play on what I'm talking about in the OP.

 

It seems that lots of people simply pick and choose as a matter of convience.

 

If I for, example brought up a secular group that did the same bad thing that was done by a religious group that he claims that they wouldn't have done if they haven't believed, I can pretty much guess his rationilizations.

 

 

 [edit grammar]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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I would say that you are

I would say that you are mostly correct about religious people personalizing their beliefs, but only some of them do this. I have read from multiple surverys that about 50% of people in the US believe that we were created by God in our present form about 6-10,000 years ago. This is obviously caused by religion. If these people did not have their religion to tell them what to believe, they would likely be more apt to believing in facts, rather than believe things that have actually been disproven.

Some people personalize religion a lot and some only take it literally. Most lie somewhere in between, but the problem is that religion still causes people to be irrational in their beliefs at the very least. Perhaps people who do bad acts in the name of religion would have done them anyway, but that is beside the point. Religion is lying. Religion supports irrational thinking and supports people not using their brain to approach moral dilemmas. Some may not follow what religion supports completely, but the religions themselves still support doing only what it tells you to.

What if people went to ethics and morality classes every sunday, rather than going to church? How do you think that would effect society? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

To those who bring up evil atheists like stalin and mao, I would say that they were irrational. Perhaps they were atheists, but so what? I am subscribing to rationality and that has led me to atheism. Rationality is what we need more of, not just atheism. Theism is irrational, however, and that means turning people away from it would make society more rational. I believe that we can have all the moral benefits of religion, but through rational means.


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I doubt you'll find an

I doubt you'll find an ultimate checklist to go through to determine exactly why someone did anything. On top of the murder and genocide are extremely complex. I'd say the only way to tell for certain if religion was the cause of something is to exam each individual case. That redcross aid worker may have been raised in a non-religious family, joined the red cross and then became christian. Or maybe they were christian but what caused them to become an aid worker was that they were born in the terrible conditions they are trying to help with.

 

The problem with blaming mass malities on religion or atheism is that neither are uniform. There are good and bad members of both groups. Religion is more of an enabler than a cause, if anything.


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crazymonkie wrote:treat2

crazymonkie wrote:

treat2 wrote:
crazymonkie wrote:

That's not what cpt_pineapple's asking, here.

 

....Wish I had an answer, but I haven't a damn clue.

Turn your head around 180 degrees. I guarantee your head will still be directly on the same linear path as you've been thinking.

Enjoy not making sense and asking exactly the same question in, like, four threads in the space of a day? Because I'm enjoying you enjoying it.

Mutual.


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I think it definitely works

I think it definitely works both ways.

Generally, people will believe what they want to believe. If a humanitarian wants to improve the lives of other humans and the humanitarian is a theist, it is all but inevitable that his/her God will approve of these actions. If someone is homophobic and disgusted by the thought of two men having sex, it certainly isn't surprising that their God would disprove of homosexuality. 

However, beliefs also need to be justified to a certain extent, and the fact that theists invent the notion of faith instead of admitting just that their beliefs are unsupported is overwhelming evidence of this. The humanitarian wants a "cosmic," "ultimate" reason for helping people; enter religion. The Bible can be interpreted to mean that God wants you to help others. As the result, even if the humanitarian doesn't agree with all the teachings of the Bible, he/she can extract the portions that feel nice and end up becoming a Christian. The same process works for the guy that doesn't like gay people. If he is already a Christian, it wouldn't be surprising if he's one that agrees with the phrase, "God hates fags." Of course, beliefs have complex implications and come in bundles, so even though he doesn't hate lesbians (for obvious reasons), he cannot justify condemning gay men, but not gay women.     

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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Cpt_pineapple wrote:It seems

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

It seems that lots of people simply pick and choose as a matter of convience.

When I said, "kind of confirmation bias", that's what I meant. 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
If I for, example brought up a secular group that did the same bad thing that was done by a religious group that he claims that they wouldn't have done if they haven't believed, I can pretty much guess his rationilizations.

But that wasn't the challenge. Suicide bombing is not carried out by secularists, to the best of my knowledge. You may know of an example, but I don't.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote:When I

HisWillness wrote:

When I said, "kind of confirmation bias", that's what I meant. 

 

 

I meant that people pick and choose whether religion influences somebody without some uniform standard in which to differeniate

 

 

 

 

Quote:

But that wasn't the challenge.

 

 

It's half of it

 

Quote:

Suicide bombing is not carried out by secularists, to the best of my knowledge. You may know of an example, but I don't.

 

Let's see here:

 

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealem [Nationalist/Marxist]

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine[PFLP] [Nationalist/Marxist]

Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Nationalist]

Kurdistan Worker's Union [PKK] [Nationalist/Marxist]

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I meant

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I meant that people pick and choose whether religion influences somebody without some uniform standard in which to differeniate

Oh, I see.

Also, I didn't think of the Tamil Tigers, the most obvious example of secular suicide bombing, as they were one of the first groups to use it. I take back my earlier comment, as it was obviously wrong.

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Religion or more

Religion or more specifically dogma allows people to come up with simple solutions for complex problems , ie its the easy answer it by passes thinking or anything that might restrict your actions.

World crap blame X kill em problem solved

 


Cpt_pineapple
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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I meant that people pick and choose whether religion influences somebody without some uniform standard in which to differeniate

Oh, I see.

 

I never read Hitchens, but does he offer a method to differeniate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I never

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I never read Hitchens, but does he offer a method to differeniate?

Nope. Hitchens assumes the given reasons and excuses are true - and those reasons are typically religious in nature.

I suggest reading his stuff anyway, the man has a real grasp on history and politics. His conclusions are arguable, but the path there is educational.

"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


Hambydammit
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 Pineapple, I'd like to

 Pineapple, I'd like to first tell you that in my spare moments over the last week, I've been thinking a lot about my position on religion and "cause."  Specifically, in light of some very interesting research by a friend's colleague, I'm reconsidering my stance on cognitive dissonance.  I'm still waiting to get my hands on the study itself, but I have it on very good authority that this friend of a friend has demonstrated that like almost everything else in human brains, tolerance for cognitive dissonance is a sliding scale.

In other words, some people simply cannot tolerate cognitive dissonance.  Others don't even notice it when it's right in front of their face, and it causes them no mental distress at all.  Most people, it appears, fall somewhere in the middle.  They can accept some cognitive dissonance but only to a certain level of credulity.

This finding may significantly alter my beliefs about religion and society, although in what ways, I'm not sure.

In any case, to your question:

In a nutshell, I think you need to be more specific with your definition of "cause."  In most cases, it's simply not correct to say that a single thing in a person's consciousness "caused" them to act in a certain way.  Supposing that religious intolerance causes increased expression of ethnocentrism, does increased expression of ethnocentrism also cause increased religious intolerance?  I'd say definitely so.  So which is the cause and which is the effect?

Furthermore, if poverty causes people to want to reach out to a higher power, does poverty cause religion which causes religious intolerance which causes ethnocentrism?

You see what I'm getting at?  For any action a person takes, there's a huge matrix of environmental and internal factors which all are part of the "cause."  When we single one out, we are usually trying to say "this factor is a big enough deal that we ought to take notice."  

I know this isn't exactly answering your question, but I think I see where your mind is going, and I think you're just going to frustrate yourself if you continue going this way.  This all ties into our discussions about the effect of religion on society in general.  For instance, when I say that secularism is directly tied to egalitarian society and increased societal function, I'm saying that within the incredibly complicated matrix that is human existence, the relative weight of secularism in determining the nature of a society is significant enough that we can point to it and say (colloquially) "See... secularism leads to egalitarianism."  It's not a math formula.  It's a tidy little conceptualization of secularism as a "cause" of societal health.

 

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

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 Oh, and just as a side

 Oh, and just as a side note, I don't think there's really anything that could only be done by a theist, aside from the actual "being a theist" part.  (Obviously, an atheist can't be a theist while being an atheist.)

The heart of Hitchens' challenge is not literalism, but practicality.  There are many acts which are so much more likely to be done by theists than non-theists that we can practically say they are "theist actions."  Is there someone voluntarily praying before a meal when nobody else is watching and there's no other reason for him to be doing so?  Bet the farm on him being a theist.  Sure, we can imagine an exception, and there probably have been several.  It's a big world.  Still, there are some things that there are no compelling justifications for aside from theism.

 

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

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JillSwift

JillSwift wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I never read Hitchens, but does he offer a method to differeniate?

Nope. Hitchens assumes the given reasons and excuses are true - and those reasons are typically religious in nature.

I suggest reading his stuff anyway, the man has a real grasp on history and politics. His conclusions are arguable, but the path there is educational.

 

 

Then his challenge is pretty much stacked in his favour.

 

I bet he ignores the given reasons/excuses for the former part of his challenge, but accepts them for the latter.

 

Like I said, I never read him, but what would be his argument if say Ray Comfort said that the Red Cross worker was motivated by their faith?

 

What I would assume is that he would point out people who do it for secular reasons and what those reasons are.


 

Hambydammit wrote:

I think I see where your mind is going, and I think you're just going to frustrate yourself if you continue going this way.

 

 

Where would that be?

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

The heart of Hitchens' challenge is not literalism, but practicality.  There are many acts which are so much more likely to be done by theists than non-theists that we can practically say they are "theist actions."  Is there someone voluntarily praying before a meal when nobody else is watching and there's no other reason for him to be doing so?  Bet the farm on him being a theist.  Sure, we can imagine an exception, and there probably have been several.  It's a big world. 

 

 

My argument would be the majority of people who do X thing are Theist, because the majority of people are Theists.

 

There are no really compelling secular reasons to pray before you eat. But then again that reminds me of a quote

"As long as there are algebra tests in schools, there will also be prayer."

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Still, there are some things that there are no compelling justifications for aside from theism.

 

This is in relation to my "Is violence ever justified?" topic. [Which spawned this topic]

 

Just because you or Hitchens can't see a compelling justification, doesn't mean that there isn't one, you most likely don't live in the region where the action takes place, and know nothing of the enviromental conditions that could spawn the action.

 

 

 

 


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 Quote:My argument would be

 

Quote:
My argument would be the majority of people who do X thing are Theist, because the majority of people are Theists.

So... you're arguing that there are a statistically significant number of sane atheists who pray to god voluntarily, without witnesses?

I'm using the most extreme example I can think of to simply establish the principle that there are some things which, regardless of relative populations, will always be done virtually exclusively by theists.  Once we've established that there are some things virtually no atheist will do, it just comes down to figuring out how big the list is.

Quote:
There are no really compelling secular reasons to pray before you eat. But then again that reminds me of a quote

"As long as there are algebra tests in schools, there will also be prayer."

Meh.  I've faced much worse than algebra tests, and never once prayed since becoming an atheist. 

Quote:
This is in relation to my "Is violence ever justified?" topic. [Which spawned this topic]

 

Just because you or Hitchens can't see a compelling justification, doesn't mean that there isn't one, you most likely don't live in the region where the action takes place, and know nothing of the enviromental conditions that could spawn the action.

Please don't lump me in with Hitchens on this.  I don't stand by his challenge.  I'm just trying to help evaluate it.  I think it's a good rhetorical tool, but not a good philosophical argument.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: Once

Hambydammit wrote:

 Once we've established that there are some things virtually no atheist will do, it just comes down to figuring out how big the list is.

 

 

Okay, let's start:

 

1] Believing that there's a God

2] Praying

 

That's all I can think of, seeing as I know that some atheist attend church for the social cohesion.

Also, just because an atheist won't do something for the same reason that a Theist will, does not mean that they will not do it. [Reference my point that Theists tend to personalize everything into their God/religion]

 


 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Then his

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Then his challenge is pretty much stacked in his favour.
His challenge is only worthy as a rhetorical tool.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I bet he ignores the given reasons/excuses for the former part of his challenge, but accepts them for the latter.
Who can say except The Hitch.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Like I said, I never read him, but what would be his argument if say Ray Comfort said that the Red Cross worker was motivated by their faith?

What I would assume is that he would point out people who do it for secular reasons and what those reasons are.

As above.

One thing about these old arguments is: Religion is treated almost as if it were a monolithic valence of its own, affecting culture and individual choice. It is more likely that religion is itself an old outgrowth of culture, differentiated mostly by written dogma that renders it slow to change.


 

"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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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Okay,

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Okay, let's start:

 

1] Believing that there's a God

2] Praying

 

That's all I can think of, seeing as I know that some atheist attend church for the social cohesion.

Also, just because an atheist won't do something for the same reason that a Theist will, does not mean that they will not do it. [Reference my point that Theists tend to personalize everything into their God/religion]

Avoiding expanding the definition of "atheist", perhaps add:

3) Ritualized regularly occurring meetings for worship

4) Acceptance of dogmatic morals based on the word of an unproven law-giver

5) Tithing

On the other hand... depending on your definition of praying, certain atheistic but never-the-less woo-woo belief systems do incorporate prayer or magic (spells) or meditations to attract "good things", etc. Similarly, doubt can be cast on (3), (4), and (5).

Perhaps the only thing that really does go on the list is (1)

 

"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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 Pineapple, it always

 Pineapple, it always amuses me when you fight me so hard while I'm trying to agree with you.

Notice I didn't say how large I think the list is.  The fact is, I don't think there are too many things that go on the list.  I'm not quite ready to call it at one or two things, but I'm pretty sure that most things a human can do will be done by both theists and atheists.  The real question is whether or not being a theist makes someone more or less likely to do something.  That question is a going concern for lots of behaviors.

 

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

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JillSwift wrote:Who can say

JillSwift wrote:

Who can say except The Hitch.

 

 

 

 

I assume you've read Hitchens, what does he say about it? That's what I was asking, a chapter in his book that addresses this or something.

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

 The real question is whether or not being a theist makes someone more or less likely to do something.  That question is a going concern for lots of behaviors.

 

Which is pretty much what I'm asking.

 

 

What I'm asking for is a method of which to differieniate whether or not somebody would have not done what they have done sans belief. To my knowledge, no such method exists.


I've created several topics related to this recently and unfortunatly they didn't really bear any fruit.

 

I can assure you there is a method behind my madness.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 I don't think there's a

 I don't think there's a math equation.  I also don't think there's a way to determine whether a particular action by a particular theist would only have been taken if the person was in his particular state of theism.

In other words, I think you're asking the wrong question.  What I've been repeatedly trying to explain is that causality is too sticky in individual instances.  It can only be addressed meaningfully as a trend.  While I can't say that Ted Haggart would only have been a closet gay as a result of his theism, I can say that theism does appear to encourage the behavior of being in the closet for gays.  The reason I can say this (I'm just using this as a hypothetical example.  Don't ask me for studies.  I'm just assuming this is what the stats would show.)  is that in the same country, there are more closet gays among theists than non-theists.  So, I can say that theism is often a cause for gays to stay in the closet.  I cannot say whether Tom Starkweather of 1234 Main Street is a closeted gay because of his theism.  Who knows what he would be if he wasn't a theist?

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I assume

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I assume you've read Hitchens, what does he say about it? That's what I was asking, a chapter in his book that addresses this or something.
Sorry for being unclear. He makes no direct mention in the two books of his I've read. However, if you'll pardon a little speculation:

It's fairly obvious from his method of presentation that he takes correlative information as sufficient to suggest the causative - It's clearest in "God is Not Great" in that he presents a historical and political history with emphasis on the involved religious beliefs with conclusions that point toward the religious as causative. (Not always, he does relegate it to influential in some cases.)

 

If I may, to directly address your topic; There is really no way to assess the level of influence of religious belief on individual behavior - at least not as a monolithic valance. We can probably safely gage effects of discrete elements of that belief, if those elements are clear. Attitudes toward women's place in society, homosexuality, and the like are good examples. However, the more subtle aspects as belief in a god, afterlife, and that sort of thing ... well, you'd essentially have to raise twins in separated controlled environments to start getting any idea. That's never going to get past an ethics committee.

Culturally, however, it's clearer. Mapping correlation toward a culture's collective choices to religious mores and dogma is likely sufficient to suggest the causative.

That is; we can say, for instance, that inquiry into reality was hampered by cultural (that is, religious) resistance to knowledge that would threaten the validity of dogma. However, we can't be sure if any given individual chose not to make such inquiries because of their belief in that dogma, or because of fear of reprisal, or if they simply had no interest.

"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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JillSwift wrote:That is; we

JillSwift wrote:

That is; we can say, for instance, that inquiry into reality was hampered by cultural (that is, religious) resistance to knowledge that would threaten the validity of dogma. However, we can't be sure if any given individual chose not to make such inquiries because of their belief in that dogma, or because of fear of reprisal, or if they simply had no interest.

 

 

The thing that I can't get past is the massive deviation between Theists. If it were cultural, then I would expect all the Theists to be the roughly the same. That is not the case. In America and Canada for example, both have roughly the same Christian population, yet massive deviations. I think only 22% of Canadians reject evolution compared to 53% of Americans.

 

Even within the countries, there is massive difference between Canadian Christians within Canada and American Christians within America. Compare Kent Hovind to Ken Miller.

 

 

 [edit]

 

Corrected numbers of Canadians/Americans who reject evolution

 

[/edit]

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

The thing that I can't get past is the massive deviation between Theists. If it were cultural, then I would expect all the Theists to be the roughly the same. That is not the case. In America and Canada for example, both have roughly the same Christian population, yet massive deviations. I think only 22% of Canadians reject evolution compared to 53% of Americans.

You've actually made an important point about revealed religion in general, namely, that you cannot separate it from the social milieu through which it is filtered.  Then there are other factors, such as population.  Perhaps if you reduced the population of the United States to equal that of Canada, then that would bring the 53% down to 22%.


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BostonRedSox wrote:You've

BostonRedSox wrote:

You've actually made an important point about revealed religion in general, namely, that you cannot separate it from the social milieu through which it is filtered.  Then there are other factors, such as population.  Perhaps if you reduced the population of the United States to equal that of Canada, then that would bring the 53% down to 22%.

 

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

 

 

Do you know what percentage means?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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crazymonkie wrote:That's not

crazymonkie wrote:

That's not what cpt_pineapple's asking, here.

 

....Wish I had an answer, but I haven't a damn clue.

True. The question is limitted in scope so as to exclude the reasons and motivations of Atheists or for that matter, all people.

As such, the real question is ot what motivates Theists or Atheists, but what motivates people.

Without an understanding that
point, the answer to the question is as meaningless as only asking what motivates Atheist mass killers.

To attempt to even obtain a meaningful answer as to what motivates Theists, one must first ask the question of what motivates mass killers, serial killers, and just plain killers, without regard to their religious or lack of religious beliefs. Subsequently, it would be meaningful to ask IF the motivations of Theist killers are in fact any different than the motivations of Atheist killers.

The question as asked implicitly assumes that the motivations of Theist killers are different than Atheist killers.

One could simply respond by saying the underlying reasons which result in the motivations of Theist killers
is no different than the underlying reasons which result in the motivations of Atheist killers.

In short, the question asked is myopic, as one could simply say there's nothing peculiar to Theistic killers, as they might well and I believe they kill for the same undelylig reasons as ALL killers do... For example, they may be motivated by self-interest based on mistaken/delusional beliefs,
or they might be motivated by
some personal or common philosophical belief(s).

Question the question.

Don't assume the question is ba ed on a meaningful understanding of anything.

You might even learn
to think for yourself when you apply "critical thinking"
to questions, not just answers.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BostonRedSox wrote:

You've actually made an important point about revealed religion in general, namely, that you cannot separate it from the social milieu through which it is filtered.  Then there are other factors, such as population.  Perhaps if you reduced the population of the United States to equal that of Canada, then that would bring the 53% down to 22%.

 

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

 

 

Do you know what percentage means?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely.  

But consider this scenario:

Imagine that I have a room full of 10 people, 6 are atheist and 4 are theist.  60% atheist, 40% theist.  

Imagine I have another room full of 15 people, 10 are theist and 5 are atheist.  67% theist, 33% atheist.  

Now imagine that I remove 5 theists from the second room so that both rooms have an equal number of people.  The second room now has 50% theists and 50% atheists.  

Taking this one step further.  Let's remove 2 atheists from the first room and 2 theists from the second room.  The first room has 50% atheist and 50% theists.  The second room has 38% theists and 62% atheists.

Interesting how reducing the population ultimately changes the percentages.  The second ended up with a higher percentage of atheists.


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BostonRedSox

BostonRedSox wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BostonRedSox wrote:

You've actually made an important point about revealed religion in general, namely, that you cannot separate it from the social milieu through which it is filtered.  Then there are other factors, such as population.  Perhaps if you reduced the population of the United States to equal that of Canada, then that would bring the 53% down to 22%.

 

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

 

 

Do you know what percentage means?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely.  

But consider this scenario:

Imagine that I have a room full of 10 people, 6 are atheist and 4 are theist.  60% atheist, 40% theist.  

Imagine I have another room full of 15 people, 10 are theist and 5 are atheist.  67% theist, 33% atheist.  

Now imagine that I remove 5 theists from the second room so that both rooms have an equal number of people.  The second room now has 50% theists and 50% atheists.  

Taking this one step further.  Let's remove 2 atheists from the first room and 2 theists from the second room.  The first room has 50% atheist and 50% theists.  The second room has 38% theists and 62% atheists.

Interesting how reducing the population ultimately changes the percentages.  The second ended up with a higher percentage of atheists.

Screw "the social milieu through which it is filtered".

That is a condition that always will exist.

The only important question is whether you personally have the intelligence to think independently of the masses, or you accept on faith what you read, and hear
from Faux News.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:


The thing that I can't get past is the massive deviation between Theists. If it were cultural, then I would expect all the Theists to be the roughly the same. That is not the case. In America and Canada for example, both have roughly the same Christian population, yet massive deviations. I think only 22% of Canadians reject evolution compared to 53% of Americans.

 

Even within the countries, there is massive difference between Canadian Christians within Canada and American Christians within America. Compare Kent Hovind to Ken Miller.

Trends are all you can really expect, and there is going to be variance even in small, close-knit communities. As I mentioned, religion is an outgrowth of culture, and culture varies a great deal.

This is exaggerated in Canada and the US especially, as the overall culture is really a patchwork of other cultures. People are effected by the various cultures they are in contact with - this leaves room for significant individual cultural influence between folks sitting in the same pew.

"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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JillSwift wrote:Trends are

JillSwift wrote:

Trends are all you can really expect, and there is going to be variance even in small, close-knit communities. As I mentioned, religion is an outgrowth of culture, and culture varies a great deal.

 

 

But the thing with trends is that, as I mentioned before, the majority of the population is Theist, which is an extremely large sample compared to the countries with the majority atheist.

 

 

 

 

JillSwift wrote:

People are effected by the various cultures they are in contact with - this leaves room for significant individual cultural influence between folks sitting in the same pew.

 

Which brings us back to square one.......

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

JillSwift wrote:

Trends are all you can really expect, and there is going to be variance even in small, close-knit communities. As I mentioned, religion is an outgrowth of culture, and culture varies a great deal.

 

 

But the thing with trends is that, as I mentioned before, the majority of the population is Theist, which is an extremely large sample compared to the countries with the majority atheist.


 

JillSwift wrote:

People are effected by the various cultures they are in contact with - this leaves room for significant individual cultural influence between folks sitting in the same pew.

 

Which brings us back to square one.......

Yep.

 

"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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JillSwift

JillSwift wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:


The thing that I can't get past is the massive deviation between Theists. If it were cultural, then I would expect all the Theists to be the roughly the same. That is not the case. In America and Canada for example, both have roughly the same Christian population, yet massive deviations. I think only 22% of Canadians reject evolution compared to 53% of Americans.

 

Even within the countries, there is massive difference between Canadian Christians within Canada and American Christians within America. Compare Kent Hovind to Ken Miller.

Trends are all you can really expect, and there is going to be variance even in small, close-knit communities. As I mentioned, religion is an outgrowth of culture, and culture varies a great deal.

This is exaggerated in Canada and the US especially, as the overall culture is really a patchwork of other cultures. People are effected by the various cultures they are in contact with - this leaves room for significant individual cultural influence between folks sitting in the same pew.

Hit the wrong damn key. Soz if this appears toe a double post.

Atheism is not trendy, organized, nor a cultural influence in lots of place
where some (mass) killings occurred by Atheists.

Therefore, trends, organized religion, and cultural influence are all superficial
explanations to the underlying reasons and motivations of killers.

As posted before. the question and responses referring to such superficial "stuff" remain fundamentally flawed and will not produce reasonable answers.

Question the question, not just responses.


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treat2 wrote: Hit the wrong

treat2 wrote:
Hit the wrong damn key. Soz if this appears toe a double post. Atheism is not trendy, organized, nor a cultural influence in lots of place where some (mass) killings occurred by Atheists. Therefore, trends, organized religion, and cultural influence are all superficial explanations to the underlying reasons and motivations of killers. As posted before. the question and responses referring to such superficial "stuff" remain fundamentally flawed and will not produce reasonable answers. Question the question, not just responses.
Thank you, captain obvious. That's what I've been saying.

We can link the religious/irreligious facet of culture to trends within the population of that culture, but individual motivations are more opaque.

 

 

"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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"Capeetan Obvious", eh?

"Capeetan Obvious", eh?


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Pineapple, I'm puzzled. 

Pineapple, I'm puzzled.  Why would you expect uniformity in theist behavior when theism is not uniform?

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote:Pineapple,

Hambydammit wrote:

Pineapple, I'm puzzled.  Why would you expect uniformity in theist behavior when theism is not uniform?

 

 

 

That's preciously my point. Theism is NOT uniform, yet it should be.

 

We should see two people in the same pew, have more or less the same views.  Yet their personality, their exposure to other cultures override this.

 

Which brings into question whether the trend is the result of religion, or if religion just conforms to the trend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 Quote:That's preciously my

 

Quote:
That's preciously my point. Theism is NOT uniform, yet it should be.

Why in the world should theism be uniform?  That's wacky.

Quote:
We should see two people in the same pew, have more or less the same views.

?!??!?!!??!!!!

What the fuck?  

I don't even know how to start.  Supposing that within a single church, the majority of theists in attendance were roughly agreed with regard to a few major principles of theology, why in the world would you expect uniformity between churches, and why wouldn't you expect wild deviation with regard to minor beliefs even in individual churches?

Quote:
Yet their personality, their exposure to other cultures override this.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Aren't you taking into account that religion is the conceptual manifestation of people's personalities, which are determined by their reactions to their environments?

It seems like you're going in a great big circle to say that people invent their own religion.  Duh.

Quote:
Which brings into question whether the trend is the result of religion, or if religion just conforms to the trend.

I already tried to explain this.  One reinforces the other.  Is Susy Dumplin a theist because her parents were theists?  Yes.  Are her parents or the religion the cause of her theism?  Well... both.  How could it be any other way?

 

 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Then his

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Then his challenge is pretty much stacked in his favour.

Yes, of course it is. It's also inflammatory. Hitchens is a very entertaining writer, but doesn't hold himself to necessarily dry logical argument. He's not "wrong", he's just being thought-provoking.

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
That's preciously my point. Theism is NOT uniform, yet it should be.

Why in the world should theism be uniform?  That's wacky.

 

The Bible is the Bible. Christianity is based on the Bible, so all Christians should be more or less the same.

The Koran is the Koran. Islam is based on the Koran so all Muslims should be more or less the same.


 

Hambydammit wrote:

I don't even know how to start.  Supposing that within a single church, the majority of theists in attendance were roughly agreed with regard to a few major principles of theology, why in the world would you expect uniformity between churches, and why wouldn't you expect wild deviation with regard to minor beliefs even in individual churches?

 

 

There are more than deviations with regard to minor beliefs.

 

 

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

It seems like you're going in a great big circle to say that people invent their own religion.  Duh.

 

Which is kinda my point.


 

 

 

 


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 Quote:The Bible is the

 

Quote:
The Bible is the Bible. Christianity is based on the Bible, so all Christians should be more or less the same.

You've got to be kidding me, right?  Have you read the Bible?  It's a serious question.  I don't know if you have.  To say that a hundred people ought to independently invent the same religion after reading the bible is downright wacky.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Have you

Hambydammit wrote:

 Have you read the Bible?

 

tl;dr

 

 

 


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 Quote:tl;drLOLAnyway, take

 

Quote:
tl;dr

LOL

Anyway, take my word for it, or any other atheist who's actually read it.  The thing is damn near incomprehensible.  It makes no sense, and certainly doesn't give us a blueprint for what the one true church is supposed to look like.

That's why there are over 15,000 recognized Christian denominations in the world.  And no, they aren't even remotely similar across the board in even one tenet.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
tl;dr

LOL

Anyway, take my word for it, or any other atheist who's actually read it.  The thing is damn near incomprehensible.  It makes no sense, and certainly doesn't give us a blueprint for what the one true church is supposed to look like.

That's why there are over 15,000 recognized Christian denominations in the world.  And no, they aren't even remotely similar across the board in even one tenet. 

I couldn't agree with you more.

 

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