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An amusing thought I had ~ Why how right you think you are is irrelevant.

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  • An amusing thought I had ~ Why how right you think you are is irrelevant.

    The 10 year anniversary of my military enlistment happened recently and anyone who remembers me from the old times knows that I did most of my heavy posting while active duty. Argument kept my mind sharp among the mundane day to day. Not so much lately. Better job, yadda yadda. I get paid to argue with people.

    However, I had an amusing thought of late when discussing long term demographic changes occurring here in the US with a friend on another forum.

    75 years ago, nearly 3 quarters of the population here was protestant and nearly a quarter were catholic. Sum of ~90%

    Now, while the percentage of Catholics hasn't really changed, the number of people within most Protestant denominations is about half it was when my grandfather was a young man. One in ten American's identify as non-denominational Christian and of the major denominations of protestant most are about half as large as they were 20 years ago. This is due to a wide variety of factors and I don't intend to get into it here, but suffice to say that even as decentralized as religious belief in America has been throughout it's history, the times we live in now may very well be the single most decentralized they ever have been.

    So, why does that matter?

    The funny thing about how religions influence a society overall has a lot to do with the majority acting as the majority does. 75 years ago, American religious belief was largely centralized, but now it isn't. Factor in the regional concentrations of Catholicism in New England and the country had a relatively even amount of "religious pressures" on the way everyone led their lives in most other places.

    Now though? Now we don't have that. Last I checked Pew put the largest denomination of the largest relgious block in the US at under 10% and that block is "other baptist" (differentiating from southern baptists at 4%) and its not like thats an especially unified sounding group. So its safe to say that no more than 5-6% of the country is in a single protestant denomination (plus, roughly a quarter of the US falls under other, none, or undesignated)

    Put simply, the level of social conformity in the US is at an all time low

    So, what does that mean?

    It means that, as far as it extends to Christianity, as a block, to influence how everyone else leads their lives is at an all time low, and losing ground every year. 38 states where gay people can get married. Pot legalization is on the rise. Acceptance of trans individuals is rising. Abortion remains legal. Fun stuff, all in all, for the most of the under 50 crowd.

    What it means to me is that, for all the talk about correct metaphysics, for whether this or that theodicy is appropriate, for whether or not moral or teleological arguments prove god exists, for all of that, right now, it matters a hell of a lot less in the day to day lives of those who don't belong to the majority.

    Christianity simply can't throw its weight around anymore. That classic, fragmentation and schizm, has finally reached a point where no one denomination can exert that much control nationwide and the number of states that can resist modern progress by clinging to religion are smaller than they've been, well, ever.

    My Amusing Thought

    How right you think you are is irrelevant. You've lost the ability to influence, meaningfully, how people acting in ways that aren't congruent with Christian morality, but are congruent with secular morality, live their lives.

    How right you think you are is irrelevant.

    I couldn't be happier,

    -J

  • #2
    I can see why it might initially be disconcerting for some, but why should this ultimately be a problem for a Christian? The New Testament documents were written by a people that had no power whatsoever and if anything, such trends can serve as an invitation to reorient with such outlooks. Anybody who would push Christian morality citing "might makes right" rather than actually engaging the issues has missed the point.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
      in the US
      ...
      How right you think you are is irrelevant. You've lost the ability to influence, meaningfully, how people acting in ways that aren't congruent with Christian morality, but are congruent with secular morality, live their lives.
      How parochial.

      It means that, as far as it extends to Christianity, as a block, to influence how everyone else leads their lives is at an all time low, and losing ground every year.
      And why has that happened? The main reason is that Christianity in the US has kept ceding ground, continually trying to assimilate with the "progressing" culture, which is killing it and the society.

      How right you think you are is irrelevant.

      I couldn't be happier
      I didn't know you were that butthurt.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        I can see why it might initially be disconcerting for some, but why should this ultimately be a problem for a Christian? The New Testament documents were written by a people that had no power whatsoever and if anything, such trends can serve as an invitation to reorient with such outlooks. Anybody who would push Christian morality citing "might makes right" rather than actually engaging the issues has missed the point.
        For sure, KG, although I would contend that people rarely, if ever, make a point of actually saying "I'm stronger than you, therefore my way is better"

        Instead, that kind of thing comes through in a more pernicious fashion. Think of it as, or similar to, the "tyranny of the majority" that gets discussed in majority rule situations. The larger group, simply by being the larger group, does not need to make as strong a case for why their way of doing things should be implemented or, as is often the case, simply maintained. They simply have the votes. I trust we can both imagine plenty of situations where the minority group was in the right, but the majority did not care much. Rectifying that kind of thing is a terribly long process.

        Your example of NT era Christianity is a similar one to where they had to actually go out and make the argument. We aren't anywhere near the demographics that 2nd century Christians had in the Roman Empire, people who identify as atheist are in that demographic action their (as are most minority religions in the US, not generally going above 4% of the total US population for even the biggest non-Christian religions)

        I suppose, again with the power level you mentioned of NT era Christianty, that if we were to graph the level of influence Christianity had on public policy over time that its been on the downward slope for quite some time, having peaked centuries ago (worldwide) or at some point during the Cold War (for the US) after having risen slowly in the first 3 century of the modern era, spiking with the conversion of the emperor and slowly rising until some point between the 16th and 18th centuries when it began to slope downward. That bit there is just a bit of supposition. It'd be interesting to see how the protestant reformation, creation of secular democratic nations, and other major touchstones of those centuries affected the kind of control that we're discussing, but that is, again, very very labor intensive so please consider this paragraph as more of a thought exercise and not a strong claim.

        Regarding whether it should be a problem for a Christian? Dunno. It doesn't matter though; which to me is just fantastic

        A question,

        Do you think the Christian majority has tried, or done a good job, at making that argument? I can't think of an example offhand that is much beyond a "Stating what we believe" kind of thing while passing laws because in those (generally southern) areas had a Christian majority and wished to make this or that illegal, or in some cases maintaining older laws that no longer make sense. My go to example would be blue laws, but feel free to substitute your own example
        Last edited by Jaecp; 05-04-2015, 04:17 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paprika View Post
          How parochial.
          I suppose this does have to do with parishes

          And why has that happened? The main reason is that Christianity in the US has kept ceding ground, continually trying to assimilate with the "progressing" culture, which is killing it and the society.
          Heres a preemptive "I'm sorry for your loss" for when SCOTUS announces a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling in favor of gay marriage in the coming months.

          I disagree though. First, in that saying that the reason Christianity is having a lessened influence is that it's ceding ground isn't saying much. We might as well say that the reason that Christianity in having a lessened influence because they've ceded ground. I see those concepts as being largely synonymous.

          Therefore the bigger question is why the ground has been ceded. My supposition was that it was due to changes in population dynamics that didn't allow for the kind of "soft power" that the majority Christian population was used to. It's not that there are that many less Christians in the US, as a percentage of the population, than 75 years ago, but that they are broken up into significantly more chunks than 75 years ago (again, with the rise of non-denomination Christianity)

          Could you explain more about what you mean by the progressing culture and how its killing society?

          I didn't know you were that butthurt.
          Well, frankly, I doubt you know anything about me. KG or Pancreaseman might, who knows, they may have forgotten all about me, but since I'm quite positive you don't know a thing about me how about we all agree to keep this above board?
          Last edited by Jaecp; 05-04-2015, 04:18 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
            I suppose this does have to do with parishes
            Heres a preemptive "I'm sorry for your loss" for when SCOTUS announces a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling in favor of gay marriage in the coming months.
            I'm not a Yankee, so it's for me to offer my sympathies to you 'muricans.

            I disagree though. First, in that saying that the reason Christianity is having a lessened influence is that it's ceding ground isn't saying much. We might as well say that the reason that Christianity in having a lessened influence because they've ceded ground. I see those concepts as being largely synonymous.
            Nah. Christian in your country has wanted to fit in and 'progress' along with the progressives, which is why they've intentionally tried to fit in, leading them to continually cede ground.

            Could you explain more about what you mean by the progressing culture and how its killing society?
            I mean the culture as shaped by the progressives. Just look at the massive decrease in rates of marriage and number of single mothers.

            Well, frankly, I doubt you know anything about me. KG or Pancreaseman might, who knows, they may have forgotten all about me, but since I'm quite positive you don't know a thing about me how about we all agree to keep this above board?
            My memory isn't very clear but your butthurt shows through. Tone it down and I won't mention it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
              The 10 year anniversary of my military enlistment happened recently and anyone who remembers me from the old times knows that I did most of my heavy posting while active duty. Argument kept my mind sharp among the mundane day to day. Not so much lately. Better job, yadda yadda. I get paid to argue with people.
              Welcome back. I'm ashamed to say that while I do remember who you are I don't remember much about you since you were the kind of boring cookie cut atheist that just blends in with the rest of the mystery meat. Which is all the more surprising that you'd come up with a thread like this, as I've been having similar thoughts of late as well.

              However, I had an amusing thought of late when discussing long term demographic changes occurring here in the US with a friend on another forum.

              75 years ago, nearly 3 quarters of the population here was protestant and nearly a quarter were catholic. Sum of ~90%

              Now, while the percentage of Catholics hasn't really changed, the number of people within most Protestant denominations is about half it was when my grandfather was a young man. One in ten American's identify as non-denominational Christian and of the major denominations of protestant most are about half as large as they were 20 years ago. This is due to a wide variety of factors and I don't intend to get into it here, but suffice to say that even as decentralized as religious belief in America has been throughout it's history, the times we live in now may very well be the single most decentralized they ever have been.
              Decentralized is one word for it. Balkanized is another. I suspect you'll think this is a good thing all the way to your fateful meeting with the lamppost of your dreams.

              So, why does that matter?

              The funny thing about how religions influence a society overall has a lot to do with the majority acting as the majority does. 75 years ago, American religious belief was largely centralized, but now it isn't. Factor in the regional concentrations of Catholicism in New England and the country had a relatively even amount of "religious pressures" on the way everyone led their lives in most other places.

              Now though? Now we don't have that. Last I checked Pew put the largest denomination of the largest relgious block in the US at under 10% and that block is "other baptist" (differentiating from southern baptists at 4%) and its not like thats an especially unified sounding group. So its safe to say that no more than 5-6% of the country is in a single protestant denomination (plus, roughly a quarter of the US falls under other, none, or undesignated)

              Put simply, the level of social conformity in the US is at an all time low

              So, what does that mean?

              It means that, as far as it extends to Christianity, as a block, to influence how everyone else leads their lives is at an all time low, and losing ground every year. 38 states where gay people can get married. Pot legalization is on the rise. Acceptance of trans individuals is rising. Abortion remains legal. Fun stuff, all in all, for the most of the under 50 crowd.
              lol you're still stuck in a bubble. Over the last few years I've seen racism, sexism and homophobia rising among the younger (under 20) crowd to colossal levels (well, actually homophobia has been pretty constant, it's the adults with the bullhorn that have been getting loud about it, which probably has the opposite effect of what was intended). Even five years ago I'd have thought this was nuts if someone told me, not anymore. The problem with taking over a culture, especially in the slimy dishonorable way liberals did is that the people who suffer from the side-effects of progressivism (which is most of them) will become increasingly pitiless against you. And I gotta say, being on the "destroy society" end of the battlefield now, it's also quite enjoyable. My guess is that the amount of mental and emotional trauma I've inflicted on progressitards in the last year or so adds up to more damage than I did in my previous 10 years of service (and I wasn't exactly a cute bunny then either). One of the leading voices of progressivism on another message board I visit regularly literally snapped and started posting a bunch of jibberish. It turned out he had been committed several times already and being nuts was, in fact, his default state. The polite log cabin conservatives of old are being replaced by sadistic wolverines and the polite backstabbing progressives of old are being replaced by people who collapse into a quivering mess if they see a woman slightly hotter than they are.

              What it means to me is that, for all the talk about correct metaphysics, for whether this or that theodicy is appropriate, for whether or not moral or teleological arguments prove god exists, for all of that, right now, it matters a hell of a lot less in the day to day lives of those who don't belong to the majority.
              On the contrary, it matters more than ever. Without traditional Christianity to properly channel people's base impulses western society is becoming more and more dysfunctional. The most obvious dysfunction is the failure of atheists and liberal religious people to procreate. Liberals hijacked America (and Europe's) foremost intellectual organizations and now drive their members to extinction in hedonistic pursuits. It was inevitable that this dysgenic behavior would also spill into the general population. The end result will be that the future belongs to Kony and Boko Haram rather than to Elizabeth Warren or whichever sideshow you people worship. Dumb, violent people, too stupid to figure out how to slap a condom on shall be our guiding light.

              Christianity simply can't throw its weight around anymore. That classic, fragmentation and schizm, has finally reached a point where no one denomination can exert that much control nationwide and the number of states that can resist modern progress by clinging to religion are smaller than they've been, well, ever.
              On the contrary, you are mixing up cause and effect. It's because Christianity stopped throwing its weight around that it wound up frayed and overwhelmed by outsiders. One need only look at KG's stupid post in this thread to put to rest the claim that Christianity has made any serious effort to throw its weight around in the last hundred years (if not more). Christians are busy surrendering their progeny to Moloch.

              My Amusing Thought

              How right you think you are is irrelevant. You've lost the ability to influence, meaningfully, how people acting in ways that aren't congruent with Christian morality, but are congruent with secular morality, live their lives.

              How right you think you are is irrelevant.

              I couldn't be happier,

              -J
              Even so, I'll still get the last laugh, both here and in the afterlife.
              "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


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jaecp View Post

                Do you think the Christian majority has tried, or done a good job, at making that argument? I can't think of an example offhand that is much beyond a "Stating what we believe" kind of thing while passing laws because in those (generally southern) areas had a Christian majority and wished to make this or that illegal, or in some cases maintaining older laws that no longer make sense. My go to example would be blue laws, but feel free to substitute your own example
                No, I think it's more implicit. As you say, few people would actually come out and say that. The defensive postures people have taken with such things as blue laws may approximate them somewhat, with people struggling to articulate exactly why these laws should exist. (My state is currently debating the relaxation of liquor laws, and the debate is all taking place in terms of economic effects and not morality.)

                The best example I can think of is the Christian Coalition of the 80s/90s. This organization sought legislative dominance, which as with all such political postures can be fairly characterized as "might makes right". The current American milieu has no room left for such an organization to have strong clout, and I think that ship may have even sailed by the 1980s. I don't want to speculate as to how it would have gone down earlier in American history, as I think there is a strong risk of overestimating the level of religiosity of the population.

                I'll admit that I have no idea what first century Christians would have done if they had possessed political power. I'm sure some would have tried to take advantage (as the church began to post-Constantine), but I don't know if the actual apostolic leaders would have condoned this. I'm not willing to automatically assume they wouldn't have, though.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                  I'm not a Yankee, so it's for me to offer my sympathies to you 'muricans.


                  Nah. Christian in your country has wanted to fit in and 'progress' along with the progressives, which is why they've intentionally tried to fit in, leading them to continually cede ground.


                  I mean the culture as shaped by the progressives. Just look at the massive decrease in rates of marriage and number of single mothers.


                  My memory isn't very clear but your butthurt shows through. Tone it down and I won't mention it.
                  Forgive me,

                  The majority of people I meet on the internet tend to be from the US. Either way, I can't speak for the rest of the world as strongly since I am an American and a lot of my research has focused on religion in the US. I don't think that talking about a specific region makes something parochial.

                  Speaking of divorce, we're number 6! Woo.

                  I'm not sure how much it has to do with religion though, or the lack thereof. I wonder how many marriages would have ended in divorce in the US, or other places, if divorce had been legal in those places instead of not?

                  Regarding butthurt. I certainly don't feel butthurt. My emotional feeling while writing that post up is, I think, best summed up as "bemused reminiscing"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                    No, I think it's more implicit. As you say, few people would actually come out and say that. The defensive postures people have taken with such things as blue laws may approximate them somewhat, with people struggling to articulate exactly why these laws should exist. (My state is currently debating the relaxation of liquor laws, and the debate is all taking place in terms of economic effects and not morality.)

                    The best example I can think of is the Christian Coalition of the 80s/90s. This organization sought legislative dominance, which as with all such political postures can be fairly characterized as "might makes right". The current American milieu has no room left for such an organization to have strong clout, and I think that ship may have even sailed by the 1980s. I don't want to speculate as to how it would have gone down earlier in American history, as I think there is a strong risk of overestimating the level of religiosity of the population.

                    I'll admit that I have no idea what first century Christians would have done if they had possessed political power. I'm sure some would have tried to take advantage (as the church began to post-Constantine), but I don't know if the actual apostolic leaders would have condoned this. I'm not willing to automatically assume they wouldn't have, though.
                    It's a pretty fascinating thing to consider though, isn't it?

                    Regarding the blue laws, I suspect that the primary reason why the debate is framed in terms of economics is because the Republican party's two large wings don't really agree on much so to garner support from the Fiscal half of the party the Social half allows the debate to be framed in terms of economics. A corollary to that is that there might be an assumption (justified, imho) that as soon as people start trying to argue in favor of blue laws from a morality perspective then the fight for blue laws is, effectively lost. What do you think?

                    The Christian Coalition did some pretty crazy work there in the 80's, tying themselves to Reagan era conservatism though has a lot of social conservatives stuck with people whose economic policies are arguably not the most Christ-like things around. The era's where a CC might have succeeded may have been in the 3-7 years following any one of those tent revivals I remember learning all about at my academy growing up.

                    Regarding the CC making the argument? I'm not sure. They definitely mobilized people, and IIRC we were both born in the mid 80's, but I'm not sure if that was so much making the argument to other people than simply two constituencies being welding together for a temporary majority.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                      Welcome back. I'm ashamed to say that while I do remember who you are I don't remember much about you since you were the kind of boring cookie cut atheist that just blends in with the rest of the mystery meat. Which is all the more surprising that you'd come up with a thread like this, as I've been having similar thoughts of late as well.
                      Thank you,

                      Anyway, I've always had posts with interesting premises, but I never really cared to engage with you on the old forum. Incompatible personalities, plus I had this thing about being super polite all the time. What the hell was I thinking?

                      On the contrary, you are mixing up cause and effect. It's because Christianity stopped throwing its weight around that it wound up frayed and overwhelmed by outsiders. One need only look at KG's stupid post in this thread to put to rest the claim that Christianity has made any serious effort to throw its weight around in the last hundred years (if not more). Christians are busy surrendering their progeny to Moloch.
                      It's an interesting test of that parable about the oak and the willow.

                      Even so, I'll still get the last laugh, both here and in the afterlife.
                      Take solace in that, then, DE, for the world belongs to the living.

                      (Partial reply is on purpose. I don't want to get too off track)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
                        I'm not sure how much it has to do with religion though, or the lack thereof.
                        Well, we were talking about what 'progressive' meant: progressive culture has encouraged divorce to uproot Christian influence and for sexually liberté. Christians have followed suit by making divorce viable by increasingly encouraging marriage of those divorced.

                        Regarding butthurt. I certainly don't feel butthurt. My emotional feeling while writing that post up is, I think, best summed up as "bemused reminiscing"
                        Next time don't make your butthurt so obvious ("I'm so happy you guys are irrelevant now!") and things should go better.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It may be helpful if you pointed out specifically what was wrong with my post, DE.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Assuming your thesis is correct, and Christianity is on it's way out as a centralizing influence in America (and by and large, I think it probably is), then what replaces it as a common, overarching, cultural 'glue'? Nothing?

                            From the outside I see a lot of fragmentation in American society, and not just in the 'religious sphere'. And I wonder how things will be if there is no moderating voice, no common framework of moral values that most people can agree on as being objectively good. What will restrain various interest groups from doing whatever it takes to achieve power and get their goals? Americans are being taught to react emotionally to everything, to stand on 'my rights', to read every event through the lenses of their particular minority being oppressed. What would the Civil Rights movement, say, have been like if it wasn't moderated by the peaceful methods of the Christian groups?

                            How much of a jump in that kind of (future?) society is it from phoning in a bomb threat to disrupt a Gamergate meeting to actually setting off a bomb? Why should the silent majority restrain themselves at all when they're being put upon and harassed by narrow-minded special interest activists?

                            With the loss of the Christian worldview comes the loss of most commonly-held moral restraints. It'll be every man for himself.




                            Have fun, Jaecp. I suspect your military experience might be very useful to you.



                            PS: This thread should really be in Civics.


                            PPS: How people choose to live in the short-term future is irrelevant to the truth of the Christian worldview. I suspect it won't be that many years after it's death in America that you'll be mourning it.
                            Last edited by MaxVel; 05-04-2015, 05:03 AM.
                            ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
                              Thank you,

                              Anyway, I've always had posts with interesting premises, but I never really cared to engage with you on the old forum. Incompatible personalities, plus I had this thing about being super polite all the time. What the hell was I thinking?
                              I'm being super polite right now.

                              Take solace in that, then, DE, for the world belongs to the living.

                              (Partial reply is on purpose. I don't want to get too off track)
                              Yes, it belongs to the living, and those who will continue to live in it. IE: not atheists, or liberals in general.



                              I find it very interesting that even when you limit the eternal conflict to the realm of the physical, atheists have a built-in self destruct mechanism.
                              "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

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