Article on atheism - psychology today
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25-05-2012, 11:48 PM
Article on atheism - psychology today
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-...e-religion

Interesting article. Do you think religion i.e. big religious groups like Islam, Christianity, Mormonism will ever be completely done away with? I'd like to think that someday religions will be seen for what they really are, sorry answers for questions that were not accessible at the time. I know it most likely will not happen in my lifetime. But is it possible at all?
On one hand it seems that as we discover more about the world and ourselves there will eventually be no room for a god to exist. However, there seem to be people that just want to have the belief that there is something watching out for them and they will continue to live on in the afterlife.

Since becoming an atheist I have talked to my believing friends, in attempts to get them to see a different view and to show them that they can think for themselves. While I am grateful that my friends are open to me discussing these things with them, it bothers me that they have basically told me that they just want to believe. They don't really care if it is true or not they just need it in their lives. I'm hoping that rational thinking will win over.
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26-05-2012, 12:18 AM
 
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
(25-05-2012 11:48 PM)Noelani Wrote:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-...e-religion

Interesting article. Do you think religion i.e. big religious groups like Islam, Christianity, Mormonism will ever be completely done away with? I'd like to think that someday religions will be seen for what they really are, sorry answers for questions that were not accessible at the time. I know it most likely will not happen in my lifetime. But is it possible at all?
On one hand it seems that as we discover more about the world and ourselves there will eventually be no room for a god to exist. However, there seem to be people that just want to have the belief that there is something watching out for them and they will continue to live on in the afterlife.

Since becoming an atheist I have talked to my believing friends, in attempts to get them to see a different view and to show them that they can think for themselves. While I am grateful that my friends are open to me discussing these things with them, it bothers me that they have basically told me that they just want to believe. They don't really care if it is true or not they just need it in their lives. I'm hoping that rational thinking will win over.



I'm going to read the article, but I wanted to comment on something you said: that you are trying to get your theist friends to see a different view. Why don't you just let them be who they are? You expect them to let you believe the way you want to believe, so why not let them believe the way they want to believe? What makes you think it's good to "convert" them?

Whether your believe your consciousness will survive after you die is not terribly important. It either will or it won't. You don't know how it's going to be when you die. It is possible you are wrong in your atheism. You do realize that, don't you?
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26-05-2012, 06:45 AM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
Interesting article, but holy patriarchal, Batman! It really does reek of, "Oh, those poor savages." It's pretty disgusting. Especially the implication that Westerners are simply more intelligent than people in the third world. That's just... astonishing.

Overall, I don't quite think he gets it. For my money, one of the real reasons religion is huge in so-called underdeveloped countries is because despite what many Atheists believe, religion is a uniting force. That's right, I said it, yawannafightabatit? Maintaining vast societies is difficult when one moves beyond the Dunbar number and kin selection. You require a new glue to hold people together. Religion is that glue. That's why people on the other side of the country who have never seen or met you act as though you're one people. In the last 200 years in many places, religion has taken a more recessive role to nationalism (if people know McLuhan, think figure/ground). This, however, occurred primarily in Europe. But wherever it occurred, religion was often a nested part of that national identity (for God and country!). Today, with the vast amount of transportation, telecommunications and the Internet, coupled with the fact that nationalism is being replaced by contractualism in the corporate age, religion's role is further diminished. The need for a uniting force is still there, there's just a more sophisticated one now.

So you need a great deal of development to reach a period where a significant percentage of your populace no longer requires religion.

This is not the case, nor will it ever be the case, in the third world. The first world cannot exist without the third world. The third world is the exploited indentured servant of the first world and will never reach the level of development that the first world has. Even though there is a movement to "develop" the third world, and even though there are poster children like Singapore, it will never happen because if it does, the global economy will collapse simply because immigrants from the third world offset the negative birth rates in first world countries caused by our ridiculous affluence. Even if we do manage to develop every country in the world, the third world will exist within those countries (a trend we can see with the utter erosion of labour power in the west thanks to globalisation).

So religion, at least in the context of Our culture's current system, which doesn't look like it's going anywhere, ain't goin nowhere.

Even if there was some miracle, religion will never disappear. No idea disappears. Once an idea is introduced into the meme pool, it can never really be destroyed. There are still eugenicists, flat earthers, Nazis, people who advocate forced sterilisation, pagans, the list goes on. A day might come when religion's representation in the meme pool is dramatically less than it is today, but religion will never be gone gone.

As for the article's point about social safety nets, many third world countries had extensive social programs, but then the IMF rolled in with their bailouts (required because western hedge fund investors came along and collapsed their economies for profit) and their Structural Adjustment Policies and ordered the countries to dismantle them, deregulate those sectors and allow Western corporations to invade and provide those same services for profit. Colonialism is still alive and well as demonstrated by that and by the article.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-05-2012, 09:41 AM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
Religion is never gonna die. How many new age religions were established in just the last century alone? I mean despite the fact that people get educated, religion is still embedded into people's brains, no matter how ridiculous some beliefs are (rat worship) people still stick to them and believe in them wholeheartedly.
What makes it worse is our gullibility as people and how "smart" religious leaders are, if oppression will not work on you then they make sure they at least appeal to you in any way, the best examples I know are in christianity; consider the pink bible for gays (apparently gay friendly).

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26-05-2012, 11:33 AM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2012 11:41 AM by Noelani.)
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
(26-05-2012 12:18 AM)Egor Wrote:  
(25-05-2012 11:48 PM)Noelani Wrote:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-...e-religion

Interesting article. Do you think religion i.e. big religious groups like Islam, Christianity, Mormonism will ever be completely done away with? I'd like to think that someday religions will be seen for what they really are, sorry answers for questions that were not accessible at the time. I know it most likely will not happen in my lifetime. But is it possible at all?
On one hand it seems that as we discover more about the world and ourselves there will eventually be no room for a god to exist. However, there seem to be people that just want to have the belief that there is something watching out for them and they will continue to live on in the afterlife.

Since becoming an atheist I have talked to my believing friends, in attempts to get them to see a different view and to show them that they can think for themselves. While I am grateful that my friends are open to me discussing these things with them, it bothers me that they have basically told me that they just want to believe. They don't really care if it is true or not they just need it in their lives. I'm hoping that rational thinking will win over.



I'm going to read the article, but I wanted to comment on something you said: that you are trying to get your theist friends to see a different view. Why don't you just let them be who they are? You expect them to let you believe the way you want to believe, so why not let them believe the way they want to believe? What makes you think it's good to "convert" them?

Whether your believe your consciousness will survive after you die is not terribly important. It either will or it won't. You don't know how it's going to be when you die. It is possible you are wrong in your atheism. You do realize that, don't you?
I actually don't think that I have to convert them. I have only come out to two of my friends and it was a really scary thing to do, I really didn't want to lose them as friends. It's been about 6 months since I have come out and the only time we have talked about my disbelief in god was a couple weeks ago, when these conversations took place. They were asking me about why I didn't believe. I did not bring it up at all after that first conversation where I only told them that I didn't believe anymore. I think they thought I would change my mind and now after 6 months they started getting curious about what was going on since there has been no turn around. When I started telling them why I didn't believe I could see them getting really uncomfortable with the reasons (very basic reasons so as not to overwhelm or start anything big) why (how the new testament came about, contradictions in the bible, etc..). At this point I even asked them if they wanted to stop and they both said that no they found it interesting and that I was encouraging one friend to read their bible more. At the end of the conversation one of them basically said that she really didn't care if it was true or not, she just needed it in her life. And I respect that. And while this particular friend is benefiting from some of the strict rules put in place by religion, I also see her and her family (husband and 4 kids) struggling financially and they could really use the money they use for tithe. I also think that some of rules have created the hurt and the problem (hard to explain without you knowing the whole back story).Her husband was also given some really bad advice by their ex-pastor and his wife (close family friends) that has caused major damage for the last 3 years and it is still on going. The pastor has never once apologized for his bad advice or recognized the hurt it has caused their whole family. Anyway, while I can see that some aspects of religion help her, there are also parts of religion that are hurting her and might have caused the whole issue in the first place. But I do not see this as a reason for converting her to atheism. Would the absence of religion have helped the situation, yes. But it's a bit late for that now.
I don't feel like I need to persuade them to see my worldview. I respect them and their beliefs, we used to go to the same bible studies together. I love them as friends and don't want to lose my friendships. In the last 6 months when they discuss religion I don't mind at all, I listen and only contribute in only positive ways. I was actually very nervous when they started asking me questions but this has only proved what great friends I have that we are still just as close even though we differ in beliefs.
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27-05-2012, 09:07 PM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
(26-05-2012 06:45 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Interesting article, but holy patriarchal, Batman! It really does reek of, "Oh, those poor savages." It's pretty disgusting. Especially the implication that Westerners are simply more intelligent than people in the third world. That's just... astonishing.

Overall, I don't quite think he gets it. For my money, one of the real reasons religion is huge in so-called underdeveloped countries is because despite what many Atheists believe, religion is a uniting force. That's right, I said it, yawannafightabatit? Maintaining vast societies is difficult when one moves beyond the Dunbar number and kin selection. You require a new glue to hold people together. Religion is that glue. That's why people on the other side of the country who have never seen or met you act as though you're one people. In the last 200 years in many places, religion has taken a more recessive role to nationalism (if people know McLuhan, think figure/ground). This, however, occurred primarily in Europe. But wherever it occurred, religion was often a nested part of that national identity (for God and country!). Today, with the vast amount of transportation, telecommunications and the Internet, coupled with the fact that nationalism is being replaced by contractualism in the corporate age, religion's role is further diminished. The need for a uniting force is still there, there's just a more sophisticated one now.

So you need a great deal of development to reach a period where a significant percentage of your populace no longer requires religion.

This is not the case, nor will it ever be the case, in the third world. The first world cannot exist without the third world. The third world is the exploited indentured servant of the first world and will never reach the level of development that the first world has. Even though there is a movement to "develop" the third world, and even though there are poster children like Singapore, it will never happen because if it does, the global economy will collapse simply because immigrants from the third world offset the negative birth rates in first world countries caused by our ridiculous affluence. Even if we do manage to develop every country in the world, the third world will exist within those countries (a trend we can see with the utter erosion of labour power in the west thanks to globalisation).

So religion, at least in the context of Our culture's current system, which doesn't look like it's going anywhere, ain't goin nowhere.

Even if there was some miracle, religion will never disappear. No idea disappears. Once an idea is introduced into the meme pool, it can never really be destroyed. There are still eugenicists, flat earthers, Nazis, people who advocate forced sterilisation, pagans, the list goes on. A day might come when religion's representation in the meme pool is dramatically less than it is today, but religion will never be gone gone.

As for the article's point about social safety nets, many third world countries had extensive social programs, but then the IMF rolled in with their bailouts (required because western hedge fund investors came along and collapsed their economies for profit) and their Structural Adjustment Policies and ordered the countries to dismantle them, deregulate those sectors and allow Western corporations to invade and provide those same services for profit. Colonialism is still alive and well as demonstrated by that and by the article.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I think that the meme argument is a strong one (and one that I've heard made in sociology circles).

That said, if religion can be relegated to the level of flat earthers, Nazis, etc. Earth's society will benefit greatly.

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27-05-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
Hey, Light.

If you look at the Catholic Church, it has declined significantly. They used to run the planet. Now, not so much. I mean there's still a billion of them, but, y'know.

I'm glad you like the memetic argument. One thing. It means that religion will never decline just cuz, or because it should, or because people want it to. It works in Our culture's environment. It will remain robust until the environment changes. And there's no sign of that happening any time soon.

Also, it's assumption that Earth will benefit. Religion will be replaced by something just like the dinosaurs were replaced by mammals. Who knows what that replacement will be. We won't know until it happens. Fingers crossed it doesn't suck.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-05-2012, 10:51 PM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
(27-05-2012 09:45 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Light.

If you look at the Catholic Church, it has declined significantly. They used to run the planet. Now, not so much. I mean there's still a billion of them, but, y'know.

I'm glad you like the memetic argument. One thing. It means that religion will never decline just cuz, or because it should, or because people want it to. It works in Our culture's environment. It will remain robust until the environment changes. And there's no sign of that happening any time soon.

Also, it's assumption that Earth will benefit. Religion will be replaced by something just like the dinosaurs were replaced by mammals. Who knows what that replacement will be. We won't know until it happens. Fingers crossed it doesn't suck.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
That's a valid point as well. We seem to going in the right direction in terms of the amount of humans subscribing to magical thinking.

I dig memes because I work in marketing and have seen the measurable impact they can have on empirical things like revenue.


P.S. I hope that nationalism is also toned down over time. That shit is super dangerous too.

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28-05-2012, 06:50 AM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
Hey, Light.

I would be VERY curious to learn about how advertising agencies are looking at/using memetics.

I too would like to see a reduction in nationalism. To large degree it is already on the decline. Globalisation has created a situation in which allegiance is determined by who you work for or where you can find work. I like to call it contractualism. Throw onto the pile the absolute necessity of immigration in Western countries due to their negative birth rates, you have a situation in which countries are importing people from all over the world and they are bringing their national identities with them. It's less noticeable in North America because we're more used to multiculturalism, but in Europe, in the nation states (France, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Denmark, etc...) you have a serious crisis where the need for foreigners and the rise of contractualism is directly conflicting with the old guard of nationalism. That's why there are so many right-wing political parties in Europe. It's a symptom of the death rattle of nationalism. Anyhoo, I could talk about contractualism for pages and pages.

Peep dis. You'll probably really like it. It talks about the evolution from kin selection, to religion, to nationalism, to, hopefully, something better.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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28-05-2012, 08:45 PM
RE: Article on atheism - psychology today
(28-05-2012 06:50 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Light.

I would be VERY curious to learn about how advertising agencies are looking at/using memetics.

I too would like to see a reduction in nationalism. To large degree it is already on the decline. Globalisation has created a situation in which allegiance is determined by who you work for or where you can find work. I like to call it contractualism. Throw onto the pile the absolute necessity of immigration in Western countries due to their negative birth rates, you have a situation in which countries are importing people from all over the world and they are bringing their national identities with them. It's less noticeable in North America because we're more used to multiculturalism, but in Europe, in the nation states (France, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Denmark, etc...) you have a serious crisis where the need for foreigners and the rise of contractualism is directly conflicting with the old guard of nationalism. That's why there are so many right-wing political parties in Europe. It's a symptom of the death rattle of nationalism. Anyhoo, I could talk about contractualism for pages and pages.

Peep dis. You'll probably really like it. It talks about the evolution from kin selection, to religion, to nationalism, to, hopefully, something better.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Advertisers and marketers have figured out just how effective memes can be in selling stuff and so many if not most content and media campaigns attempt to create a meme of some sort that will go "viral" or at least lend itself to social sharing. One of the more obvious recent examples would be "The Most Interesting Man in The World" character dreamed up by Dos Equis.

Thanks for the heads up on the video. Added to my YouTube "Watch Later" playlist (I'm a huge YouTuber, don't really watch TV much anymore).

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