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God and social dysfunction

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  • God and social dysfunction

    I have just been listening to a fascinating talk by Jerry Coyne on ‘Why Evolution is True’ (AAI 2009). At the end of the talk he refers to research by Gregory S. Paul on the correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. In his talk he explains that religious people will reject scientific facts if they conflict with their religious views. Consequently, it is not possible to educate religious people in evolution simply by explaining the science even if the science is unimpeachable.

    G. S. Paul’s research shows a strong correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. Coyne thinks that in societies that look after their citizens, the citizens feel secure and therefore feel less need to look to God to solve their problems.

    In my view this points to one of the fundamental problems in Christianity in that it looks for supernatural solutions to natural problems instead of understanding what it means to be like a god – Genesis 3:22 - And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, ….
    The solution is in our own hands – love one another.
    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
    “not all there” - you know who you are

  • #2
    Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
    Consequently, it is not possible to educate religious people in evolution simply by explaining the science even if the science is unimpeachable.
    That sounds remarkably like the Calvinist apologists who claim the intellectual case for Christianity is completely compelling, and that people who hear it and don't agree are mentally handicapped.

    In both cases, it's an easy claim to make when frustrated and comes off as immature.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by seasanctuary View Post
      That sounds remarkably like the Calvinist apologists who claim the intellectual case for Christianity is completely compelling, and that people who hear it and don't agree are mentally handicapped.
      In both cases, it's an easy claim to make when frustrated and comes off as immature.
      These are not even slightly similar. Supernatural philosophies are evidence free. But the point of the post was to consider the link between God and social dysfunction. The rejection of scientific facts by creationists is perhaps a symptom of an underlying cultural malaise.
      “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
      “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
      “not all there” - you know who you are

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
        I have just been listening to a fascinating talk by Jerry Coyne on ‘Why Evolution is True’ (AAI 2009). At the end of the talk he refers to research by Gregory S. Paul on the correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. In his talk he explains that religious people will reject scientific facts if they conflict with their religious views. Consequently, it is not possible to educate religious people in evolution simply by explaining the science even if the science is unimpeachable.

        Sounds like Coyne has insulated himself from the possibility that his arguments (and possibly his 'facts') aren't as good as he might think: if religious people aren't persuaded, it's because they're socially dysfunctional (not because he's wrong about anything).

        Originally posted by firstfloor
        G. S. Paul’s research shows a strong correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. Coyne thinks that in societies that look after their citizens, the citizens feel secure and therefore feel less need to look to God to solve their problems.

        In my view this points to one of the fundamental problems in Christianity in that it looks for supernatural solutions to natural problems instead of understanding what it means to be like a god – Genesis 3:22 - And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, ….
        The solution is in our own hands – love one another.

        Good luck with that. History shows us that people aren't very good at doing that on their own.
        ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
          I have just been listening to a fascinating talk by Jerry Coyne on ‘Why Evolution is True’ (AAI 2009). At the end of the talk he refers to research by Gregory S. Paul on the correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. In his talk he explains that religious people will reject scientific facts if they conflict with their religious views. Consequently, it is not possible to educate religious people in evolution simply by explaining the science even if the science is unimpeachable.

          G. S. Paul’s research shows a strong correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. Coyne thinks that in societies that look after their citizens, the citizens feel secure and therefore feel less need to look to God to solve their problems.

          In my view this points to one of the fundamental problems in Christianity in that it looks for supernatural solutions to natural problems instead of understanding what it means to be like a god – Genesis 3:22 - And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, ….
          The solution is in our own hands – love one another.
          Very interesting ideas. I'd say a fundamental problem in some Christianities, but certainly not all.
          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
            I have just been listening to a fascinating talk by Jerry Coyne on ‘Why Evolution is True’ (AAI 2009). At the end of the talk he refers to research by Gregory S. Paul on the correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. In his talk he explains that religious people will reject scientific facts if they conflict with their religious views. Consequently, it is not possible to educate religious people in evolution simply by explaining the science even if the science is unimpeachable.

            G. S. Paul’s research shows a strong correlation between belief in God and social dysfunction. Coyne thinks that in societies that look after their citizens, the citizens feel secure and therefore feel less need to look to God to solve their problems.

            In my view this points to one of the fundamental problems in Christianity in that it looks for supernatural solutions to natural problems instead of understanding what it means to be like a god – Genesis 3:22 - And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, ….
            The solution is in our own hands – love one another.
            At its peak the British Empire was spread across the entire world. It was also religious. Today? Cameron is begging Scotland not to leave. Atheism (or more specifically, the general crop of Enderpment philosophies) destroyed the West's true potential. Atheism and other liberal religions (but I repeat myself) are dysgenic.



            It is the cycle of civilization. prosperity -> decadence and hedonism -> collapse
            "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 robrecht View Post
              Very interesting ideas. I'd say a fundamental problem in some Christianities, but certainly not all.
              True. This is Gregory Paul on the successful society scale (the USA is currently at the wrong end):
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh9_GbrLQ18
              “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
              “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
              “not all there” - you know who you are

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                True. This is Gregory Paul on the successful society scale (the USA is currently at the wrong end):
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh9_GbrLQ18

                Of course I suspect that the "society scale" has some rather arbitrary criterion. And yes, as we become less Christian I suspect that we will become worse.
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Of course I suspect that the "society scale" has some rather arbitrary criterion. And yes, as we become less Christian I suspect that we will become worse.
                  Actually, according to Gregory Paul, the opposite is true. The successful societies are less religious.
                  “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                  “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                  “not all there” - you know who you are

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                    (the USA is currently at the wrong end)
                    Some people's ideologies commit them to that sort of outcome.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                      These are not even slightly similar. Supernatural philosophies are evidence free.
                      A rephrase of your previous post: "In his talk he explains that secular people will reject spiritual truth if they conflict with their secular views. Consequently, it is not possible to educate secular people in religion simply by explaining the religious truth even if the religious truth is unimpeachable."

                      I would say that Seasanctuary's analysis is correct. You value evidence above faith. Others value faith above evidence. If faith is a better method for understanding truth (a position I do not hold, but acknowledge that some do), then yes, the parallel between your statement and Calvinist thought is completely obvious.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Outis View Post
                        A rephrase of your previous post: "In his talk he explains that secular people will reject spiritual truth if they conflict with their secular views. Consequently, it is not possible to educate secular people in religion simply by explaining the religious truth even if the religious truth is unimpeachable."
                        I would say that Seasanctuary's analysis is correct. You value evidence above faith. Others value faith above evidence. If faith is a better method for understanding truth (a position I do not hold, but acknowledge that some do), then yes, the parallel between your statement and Calvinist thought is completely obvious.
                        These things are not symmetrical because we are real creatures living in a real world. Real evidence is all we have to work with. The supernatural realm is entirely hidden and therefore supernatural truths are also hidden. You might imagine what they are but you are forced to describe them inadequately from a natural perspective. They cannot ever be demonstrated unless you live in the spirit world – we do not.

                        Faith is not equivalent to evidence because of where we are.
                        “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                        “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                        “not all there” - you know who you are

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                          Faith is not equivalent to evidence because of where we are.
                          To you, it is not. To those who believe, faith is indeed equivalent if not superior. The preference for one over the other may be a choice, or may be an outgrowth of personality, but that preference says far more about the person who holds the preference than it does about any objective truth.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                            Actually, according to Gregory Paul, the opposite is true. The successful societies are less religious.
                            You mean like North Korea? Cuba? Former Soviet Union, Communist China?
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              You mean like North Korea? Cuba? Former Soviet Union, Communist China?
                              No, the more secular countries would include Canada, Australia, Japan, UK, France, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. A few others perhaps as well.
                              “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                              “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                              “not all there” - you know who you are

                              Comment

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