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How is secularity working out?

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  • How is secularity working out?

    With the constant stream of threads here promoting the idea that godlessness and progressive thinking are directly related to the fall of civilisation, it's worth looking at the data to see what it's telling us. This is an interesting article.

    The number of American children raised without religion has grown significantly since the 1950s, when fewer than 4% of Americans reported growing up in a nonreligious household, according to several recent national studies. That figure entered the double digits when a 2012 study showed that 11% of people born after 1970 said they had been raised in secular homes. This may help explain why 23% of adults in the U.S. claim to have no religion, and more than 30% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say the same.
    For nearly 40 years, Bengston has overseen the Longitudinal Study of Generations, which has become the largest study of religion and family life conducted across several generational cohorts in the United States. When Bengston noticed the growth of nonreligious Americans becoming increasingly pronounced, he decided in 2013 to add secular families to his study in an attempt to understand how family life and intergenerational influences play out among the religionless.

    He was surprised by what he found: High levels of family solidarity and emotional closeness between parents and nonreligious youth, and strong ethical standards and moral values that had been clearly articulated as they were imparted to the next generation.

    “Many nonreligious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious' parents in our study,” Bengston told me. “The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”
    My own ongoing research among secular Americans — as well as that of a handful of other social scientists who have only recently turned their gaze on secular culture — confirms that nonreligious family life is replete with its own sustaining moral values and enriching ethical precepts. Chief among those: rational problem solving, personal autonomy, independence of thought, avoidance of corporal punishment, a spirit of “questioning everything” and, far above all, empathy.
    The results of such secular child-rearing are encouraging. Studies have found that secular teenagers are far less likely to care what the “cool kids” think, or express a need to fit in with them, than their religious peers. When these teens mature into “godless” adults, they exhibit less racism than their religious counterparts, according to a 2010 Duke University study. Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.
    Hell in a handbasket, I tell you!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
    With the constant stream of threads here promoting the idea that godlessness and progressive thinking are directly related to the fall of civilisation, it's worth looking at the data to see what it's telling us.

    The data is telling us that atheism and liberalism in general are dysgenic. Since they occupy a disproportionate amount of the upper strata of society we can expect them to annihilate the bloodlines of a lot of productive people.


    My own ongoing research among secular Americans — as well as that of a handful of other social scientists who have only recently turned their gaze on secular culture — confirms that nonreligious family life is replete with its own sustaining moral values and enriching ethical precepts.
    Whenever a liberal talks about "enriching" it's important to remember that drinking liquid gold is both enriching and deadly. If a liberal offers to enrich you, run the other way.

    Chief among those: rational problem solving, personal autonomy, independence of thought, avoidance of corporal punishment, a spirit of “questioning everything” and, far above all, empathy.
    Sounds like the clinical diagnosis of a narcissist.

    The results of such secular child-rearing are encouraging. Studies have found that secular teenagers are far less likely to care what the “cool kids” think, or express a need to fit in with them, than their religious peers. When these teens mature into “godless” adults, they exhibit less racism than their religious counterparts, according to a 2010 Duke University study. Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.
    IOW, less of all the good stuff. Great success!
    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

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    • #3
      Not tonight, dear, I simply don't care.

      Comment


      • #4
        Read all the paper you want. Society is still going down the toilet. What percentage of people are on welfare?
        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
          Read all the paper you want. Society is still going down the toilet. What percentage of people are on welfare?
          Okay ... so data is immaterial. I don't mind as long as we state that up front.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
            Okay ... so data is immaterial. I don't mind as long as we state that up front.
            Your data is carefully selected and STILL sends mixed messages. So no, data is not immaterial (in fact Jed's post presumably references data). It seems to me that you have some sort of selective cognition thing going where you only see things you like.
            "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

            There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
              With the constant stream of threads here promoting the idea that godlessness and progressive thinking are directly related to the fall of civilisation, it's worth looking at the data to see what it's telling us. This is an interesting article.

              Hell in a handbasket, I tell you!!
              Your logic is rather flawed and I will explain why:

              1. A society isn't going to fall apart over night. The decline of the great empires of the past wasn't something that happened in 1 generation, but in several over a span of sometimes more than a century.
              2. Sociology is a 'soft science' and trying to draw out absolute conclusions, from a 'soft science' is like trying to get blood from a stone. Who were these people that were studied? What was their education level? Social economic class? Area of the country they grew up in? These are important factors, that are interestingly missing from the article you quote. Where the religious families vs the secular families on the same level, in all of these areas, or not? None of these things, seem to have been brought up, so how do we know that another factor isn't to blame?
              3. How do you objectively measure the stuff they are mentioning? I could tell you that I don't give two craps what the 'cool kids' think and never really did. Even in high school. I also hate racism, in all of its ugly forms and do not seek revenge either. I don't quite get what the meany by 'less nationalistic' are they saying that they care less about where somebody is from? What do they mean by 'less militaristic', are they saying less likely to be violent or what? What do they mean by 'less authoritarian', are we talking less likely to listen to others or what? What do they mean by 'more tolerant'? See the problems here yet? Definitions do matter, so what do they mean by these terms?

              This really doesn't prove your point, at all. Many people have sat back and said 'all is well' the night before disaster strikes. This single study, isn't evidence to support your claim, at all. If anything, it is rather vague in some sections and attempting to draw absolute conclusions, from the most minimum of facts.
              "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
              GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lilpixieofterror View Post
                Your logic is rather flawed and I will explain why:

                1. A society isn't going to fall apart over night. The decline of the great empires of the past wasn't something that happened in 1 generation, but in several over a span of sometimes more than a century.
                2. Sociology is a 'soft science' and trying to draw out absolute conclusions, from a 'soft science' is like trying to get blood from a stone. Who were these people that were studied? What was their education level? Social economic class? Area of the country they grew up in? These are important factors, that are interestingly missing from the article you quote. Where the religious families vs the secular families on the same level, in all of these areas, or not? None of these things, seem to have been brought up, so how do we know that another factor isn't to blame?
                3. How do you objectively measure the stuff they are mentioning? I could tell you that I don't give two craps what the 'cool kids' think and never really did. Even in high school. I also hate racism, in all of its ugly forms and do not seek revenge either. I don't quite get what the meany by 'less nationalistic' are they saying that they care less about where somebody is from? What do they mean by 'less militaristic', are they saying less likely to be violent or what? What do they mean by 'less authoritarian', are we talking less likely to listen to others or what? What do they mean by 'more tolerant'? See the problems here yet? Definitions do matter, so what do they mean by these terms?

                This really doesn't prove your point, at all. Many people have sat back and said 'all is well' the night before disaster strikes. This single study, isn't evidence to support your claim, at all. If anything, it is rather vague in some sections and attempting to draw absolute conclusions, from the most minimum of facts.
                I'm not suggesting that this is an either/or conclusion. What I am suggesting (following the article and the large longitudinal study it references) is that secular people are apparently not much different morally from religious people and that children brought up in secular households seem to fare no worse than those brought up in religious households. These are not particularly bold or controversial claims.

                To discuss the methodology of that study would require us to examine the paper. Measuring character traits is not all that contentious either.

                I think it might be a bit of an overreach to counter the findings of this study by dismissing all of sociology.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not suggesting that this is an either/or conclusion. What I am suggesting (following the article and the large longitudinal study it references) is that secular people are apparently not much different morally from religious people and that children brought up in secular households seem to fare no worse than those brought up in religious households. These are not particularly bold or controversial claims.
                  They're not "bold" or "controversial" because no one actually makes them in private conversations, based on personal observation. Using 'secular' and 'religious' to lump together Mencius Moldbug and Dan Savage, or Christians and Muslims, or Al Sharpton and Franklin Graham, is a sign that your argument is so weak or nonexistent that you have to start moving the goalposts even before its begun.

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                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      The non-religious are more tolerant, more empathetic, more rational, more skeptical, and more independent than the religious. That sounds familiar....
                      I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zymologist View Post
                        The non-religious are more tolerant, more empathetic, more rational, more skeptical, and more independent than the religious. That sounds familiar....
                        And it is true, is it not. The non-religious are more tolerant of sinful deviant behavior, more empathetic towards those involved in said behavior, more rational in that the basic assumptions they make are more worldly, more skeptical of traditional morality, and more independent (they think) from any control beyond political correctness.

                        Do I get points, Zy?
                        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some expressions of religion, such as the way Glenn Miller practices his Christianity, would be great for society. Some expressions of secularity, such as Stalin's regime, would obviously be detrimental.

                          But some expressions of secularity can actually lead people closer to God and allow society to prosper, and some expressions of religion can actually lead people farther from God and destroy society.

                          Just as religion itself isn't necessarily the cause of all the bad things in the world done in the name of religion, neither is it necessarily the cause of all the good things. Religion is more of a vehicle through which aspects of our human nature, both good and bad, are manifested. Values of open-mindedness, honesty, compassion, humility, courage, integrity, fairness, respect, etc, are what allow a society to prosper. The religious and non-religious exhibit these extensively. Close-mindedness, bigotry, fear, arrogance, dishonesty, injustice, etc, are what lead a society to perish. The religious and non-religious exhibit these extensively.
                          Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

                          I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                            The voices we tend to hear are usually the loudest and most extreme. Consider who gets most attention here, for example.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                              I'm not suggesting that this is an either/or conclusion. What I am suggesting (following the article and the large longitudinal study it references) is that secular people are apparently not much different morally from religious people and that children brought up in secular households seem to fare no worse than those brought up in religious households. These are not particularly bold or controversial claims.
                              Not really because the article really doesn't define why the things they picked are 'moral issues' to begin with or why they selected that criteria. What do they mean by 'militaristic'? Are we talking about maintaining a strong military presence, that can be used to project military power to all areas of the world and/or use such power as a means to 'show concern' to a trouble spot? Many countries depend upon the US military strength to protect them, in that same fashion. Why don't the countries of Europe spend as much as the US does on the military? Why when the US has already pledged to do it for you? This is something that some people seem to forget and try to pretend it is a 'moral issue' when they ignore the deeper picture of the reason for it. If the US started to let these countries fend for themselves, do you think their military spending would need to rise to make up for the loss of US presence? This is just one of the problems with the criteria they selected. How far should 'tolerance' go? Why is being 'more tolerant' a better thing? Why is being 'less nationalistic' a better thing? The article does not explain why any of these issues are really 'moral' issues to begin with. It just assumes they are and expects their readers to agree with them.

                              To discuss the methodology of that study would require us to examine the paper. Measuring character traits is not all that contentious either.
                              And there is the problem, the criteria is not set or agreed upon, so why should the conclusion be trusted?

                              I think it might be a bit of an overreach to counter the findings of this study by dismissing all of sociology.
                              I'm not dismissing all of sociology at all, but pointing out a critical thing. It is not based on near as many facts as math, physics, chemistry, or biology. Look at the criteria they selected, what makes these issues more important than other issues? What makes these issues 'moral' issues to start with? How did they select the people they looked at? If these questions can't be answered, why should we take the 'study' seriously?
                              "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
                              GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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