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11-01-2014, 02:41 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
Here is a good article on "religious trauma syndrome..."

http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/03/2...s-it-real/

Also...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ31YhOf74A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GycXDWyfJco
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11-01-2014, 03:03 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(11-01-2014 02:41 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Here is a good article on "religious trauma syndrome..."

http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/03/2...s-it-real/

Also...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ31YhOf74A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GycXDWyfJco

A blog article and YT videos? These have no evidentiary value. There is no such thing as "religious trauma syndrome". Can you cite any journal papers that demonstrate the existence of "religious trauma syndrome"?
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12-01-2014, 02:51 AM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2014 02:58 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(11-01-2014 03:03 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(11-01-2014 02:41 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Here is a good article on "religious trauma syndrome..."

http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/03/2...s-it-real/

Also...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ31YhOf74A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GycXDWyfJco

A blog article and YT videos? These have no evidentiary value. There is no such thing as "religious trauma syndrome". Can you cite any journal papers that demonstrate the existence of "religious trauma syndrome"?

Chippy, well done writing something addressed to me that didn't contain personal abuse. "pigmonkeyandfrog" sent a personal message to me that he didn't want to keep posting as he was put off by the rudeness. I happen to know him personally. He's a highly intelligent man, although suffers from mild dyslexia. I value his commentary, so would appreciate it if you could tone things down please.

I think Christianity harms psychological health. There's a reason it's difficult to prove that using studies. It’s hard to measure religiosity, awkward to assess psychological damage, and finicky to prove a causal relationship between the two, but despite this, many respected doctors and psychologists claim various mental health issues are caused by Christian beliefs. (http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/03/2...-it-real/, http://atheism.about.com/od/pentecostali...press.htm, http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/43559-...ression/).

I don't need a study to prove that some children are frightened by hell, as are some adults. I don't need a PhD to justify my claim that this is psychologically damaging. I have scores of patients who deeply resent their Christian upbringings for all sorts of reasons.

"Religious trauma syndrome" is just a phrase. It's a useful term in that it encompasses many of the problems that the victims of a Christian childhood may suffer.

There is one large study I've come across that really is worth discussing…

Church people commonly claim that if all communities were Christian the result would be moral health, peace, and happiness. I don’t believe that, and have some statistics to back up my opinion, as there is a good, very large study that addresses this issue. The American Gregory Paul is an independent researcher on subjects dealing with paleontology, evolution, religion, and society. In 2005 he undertook a study titled
“Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look.” It was published in the Journal of Religion and Society. (http://moses.creighton.edu/jrs/2005/2005-11.pdf).

He was attempting to test whether high rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with social health. He wrote that his paper was a
“…first, brief look at an important subject that has been almost entirely neglected by social scientists…not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health.”

The paper compared statistics from first-world developed countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.) It focused on these prosperous democracies, because
“levels of religious and nonreligious belief and practice, and indicators of societal health and dysfunction, have been most extensively and reliably surveyed” in them. Also,
“The cultural and economic similarity of the developed democracies minimizes the variability of factors outside those being examined.”

“Dysfunctionality” was defined by indicators of poor societal health, such as homicide rates, youth suicide, low life expectancy, STD infection, abortion, early pregnancy, and high childhood (under five years old) mortality. “Religiosity” was measured by belief in biblical literalism, frequency of prayer, and service attendance, and absolute belief in a creator, in order to quantify religiosity in terms of ardency, conservatism, and activities.

The study had a massive sample size of eight hundred million people. The data was collected in the middle and latter half of the 1990s and early 2000s from the International Social Survey Program, the UN Development Program, the World Health Organization, Gallup, and other reputable sources. What did the results show?

Japan, Scandinavia, and France were the most secular nations. The United States is the only nation in the study considered to have high rates of religiosity, a feature other studies have demonstrated is only found in the so called second and third worlds.
In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide. The US has by far the highest homicide rates.

There is a remarkable positive and consistent correlation between pro-theistic factors (especially regarding absolute belief in God, and frequency of prayer) and juvenile mortality.

Life spans tend to decrease as rates of religiosity rise, especially as a function of absolute belief. Denmark was the only exception.

Higher rates of belief and worship of God correlated with higher juvenile and adult sexually transmitted diseases. Rates of adolescent gonorrhea infection were six to three hundred times higher in the USA than in all the less theistic democracies, and were markedly more prevalent in the USA’s adult population too. The USA also suffers from uniquely high adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates. These STD’s have been nearly eliminated in all the strongly secular countries. These statistics aren’t the result of a lack of medical care or antibiotics in the USA. In my opinion, the reason is obvious; Christian parents and schools usually don’t educate teenagers about basic sexual hygiene.

Belief in and worship of a creator shows a positive correlation with increasing adolescent abortion rates in all countries. Rates of abortion are uniquely high in the USA. It also strongly correlates with higher rates of early adolescent pregnancy.

Teenage birth rates are two to dozens of times higher in the U.S. than in all the other countries. In my opinion, the high rate of adolescent pregnancy and abortion is because Christians typically refuse to teach adolescents about contraception or provide them with contraceptives.

No democracy had both strong religiosity and comparatively high rates of societal health in any of the parameters measured. The opposite is true. Only the more secular democracies had the lowest rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex-related health issues, and abortion. The three least theistic democracies—Japan, France, and Scandinavia—also have the best figures in these categories.

Interestingly, within the United States, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west have markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, and youth pregnancy rates than in the northeast part of the United States, where parameters of secularization approach European norms.

President Ronald Reagan once said,
“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the bible.” I suspect there’s much truth in that, though in the opposite sense to which he intended! (For a list of US presidential quotes about the bible, see http://renew-daily.blogspot.com/2010/10/...eep.html).

There’s a belief in American folklore that America is God's country because metaphorically, it’s a shining city upon a hill. The source of this idea is in Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus says to his disciples,
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matt. 5:14, KJV.) Some recent American presidents and presidential contenders, namely John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Walter Mondale, Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, and George W. Bush, have all claimed that the US was a “shining city on the hill,” by which they meant an exemplary example of an ideal society.

The facts contradict this claim. “God’s country” has the highest rates of murder, juvenile mortality, sexually transmitted disease, abortion, and adolescent pregnancy in the developed world. “God’s country” has recently gone to war in two Islamic countries, partly because of the Christian beliefs of George W. Bush’s government, which was probably only elected due to the Christian vote.

I’ve no wish to offend Americans for being American, but to point out that there is a strong positive correlation between Christian religiosity and social problems. There’s hope for a brighter American future; it’s slowly becoming less religious.

No one should, however, conclude that this study absolutely proves that Christian religiosity causes a dysfunctional society, or that Christianity flourishes in dysfunctional societies. Correlation implies causation, but doesn’t prove it. Both could be caused by a third factor, or the correlations could just be spurious.

This very large study does prove that there’s no evidence that Christianity has a beneficial effect on societies in first-world countries in the parameters mentioned. First world Christian communities aren’t better, healthier, or safer than their more secular peers, and in fact the data suggests the very opposite.

Some Christians are good humanitarians. I think this is primarily because good people do altruistic things for those less fortunate. I genuinely respect and admire these people, but think everyone would be better off if they could help others without mentioning God or citing nonsense from an antiquated book.
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12-01-2014, 04:08 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(12-01-2014 02:51 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  He's a highly intelligent man, although suffers from mild dyslexia.

No one is illiterate anymore, they have dyslexia.

Quote:I don't need a study to prove that some children are frightened by hell, as are some adults. I don't need a PhD to justify my claim that this is psychologically damaging. I have scores of patients who deeply resent their Christian upbringings for all sorts of reasons.

No you don't need a PhD but you do need evidence and your anecdotes don't qualify as evidence.

Quote:"Religious trauma syndrome" is just a phrase. It's a useful term in that it encompasses many of the problems that the victims of a Christian childhood may suffer.

No, it is an non-existent disease.

Quote:No one should, however, conclude that this study absolutely proves that Christian religiosity causes a dysfunctional society, or that Christianity flourishes in dysfunctional societies. Correlation implies causation, but doesn’t prove it. Both could be caused by a third factor, or the correlations could just be spurious.

Correlation does NOT imply causation--it can't.[1][2] All that correlation indicates is that two (or more) variables are somehow associated. That is all.

Quote:This very large study does prove that there’s no evidence that Christianity has a beneficial effect on societies in first-world countries in the parameters mentioned. First world Christian communities aren’t better, healthier, or safer than their more secular peers, and in fact the data suggests the very opposite.

No the data does not suggest the very opposite. It is one thing to show that religiosity does not help a society and it is another entirely different matter to show that it harms a society.

Quote:Some Christians are good humanitarians. I think this is primarily because good people do altruistic things for those less fortunate. I genuinely respect and admire these people, but think everyone would be better off if they could help others without mentioning God or citing nonsense from an antiquated book.

Maybe, but if you takee freedom seriously and don't just reserve it for yourself and those that agree with you then you should be able to understand that short of defamation people should be able to say what they like.

I don't think you have any serious commitment to the truth of a matter. You seem to believe that evidence is something that only people that disagree with you need. You cite blog articles and personal anecdotes as evidence and you don't appear to understand even basic descriptive statistics (let alone inferential statistics). You consistently spread misinformation and flawed lines of reasoning.
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12-01-2014, 04:45 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(12-01-2014 04:08 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-01-2014 02:51 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  He's a highly intelligent man, although suffers from mild dyslexia.

No one is illiterate anymore, they have dyslexia.

Quote:I don't need a study to prove that some children are frightened by hell, as are some adults. I don't need a PhD to justify my claim that this is psychologically damaging. I have scores of patients who deeply resent their Christian upbringings for all sorts of reasons.

No you don't need a PhD but you do need evidence and your anecdotes don't qualify as evidence.

Quote:"Religious trauma syndrome" is just a phrase. It's a useful term in that it encompasses many of the problems that the victims of a Christian childhood may suffer.

No, it is an non-existent disease.

Quote:No one should, however, conclude that this study absolutely proves that Christian religiosity causes a dysfunctional society, or that Christianity flourishes in dysfunctional societies. Correlation implies causation, but doesn’t prove it. Both could be caused by a third factor, or the correlations could just be spurious.

Correlation does NOT imply causation--it can't.[1][2] All that correlation indicates is that two (or more) variables are somehow associated. That is all.

Quote:This very large study does prove that there’s no evidence that Christianity has a beneficial effect on societies in first-world countries in the parameters mentioned. First world Christian communities aren’t better, healthier, or safer than their more secular peers, and in fact the data suggests the very opposite.

No the data does not suggest the very opposite. It is one thing to show that religiosity does not help a society and it is another entirely different matter to show that it harms a society.

Quote:Some Christians are good humanitarians. I think this is primarily because good people do altruistic things for those less fortunate. I genuinely respect and admire these people, but think everyone would be better off if they could help others without mentioning God or citing nonsense from an antiquated book.

Maybe, but if you takee freedom seriously and don't just reserve it for yourself and those that agree with you then you should be able to understand that short of defamation people should be able to say what they like.

I don't think you have any serious commitment to the truth of a matter. You seem to believe that evidence is something that only people that disagree with you need. You cite blog articles and personal anecdotes as evidence and you don't appear to understand even basic descriptive statistics (let alone inferential statistics). You consistently spread misinformation and flawed lines of reasoning.

Do you have an opinion as to the merits or otherwise of Christianity on a personal level, and on society as a whole? Or, aren't you sure? Or, do you think there's no generalisations to be made? Whatever you decide, can you substantiate your opinion with evidence?

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children? If so, should tax payers money be used to subsidise the counselling of people who are haunted by the threat of hell? Perhaps you think there are no people that have nightmares about hell? Or, those that do, are illegitimate for some reason? Please provide any evidence you have for your conclusions.

We know that the incidence of teenage suicide is much higher amongst gay adolescents than heterosexual teenagers. Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values? Please provide a link to a scientific study that provides evidence for your opinion.

Do you have any double-blind randomised placebo-controlled studies written in a scientific journal that prove that dyslexia is not a real medical condition? If you're not able to do that, please discuss your personal experience of interacting with people with dyslexia or people who think they have dyslexia. I'm asking because you seem to have a firm opinion on this issue so I'm assuming you know something about it.
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12-01-2014, 05:19 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(12-01-2014 04:45 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Do you have an opinion as to the merits or otherwise of Christianity on a personal level, and on society as a whole? Or, aren't you sure? Or, do you think there's no generalisations to be made? Whatever you decide, can you substantiate your opinion with evidence?

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children? If so, should tax payers money be used to subsidise the counselling of people who are haunted by the threat of hell? Perhaps you think there are no people that have nightmares about hell? Or, those that do, are illegitimate for some reason? Please provide any evidence you have for your conclusions.

We know that the incidence of teenage suicide is much higher amongst gay adolescents than heterosexual teenagers. Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values? Please provide a link to a scientific study that provides evidence for your opinion.

Do you have any double-blind randomised placebo-controlled studies written in a scientific journal that prove that dyslexia is not a real medical condition? If you're not able to do that, please discuss your personal experience of interacting with people with dyslexia or people who think they have dyslexia. I'm asking because you seem to have a firm opinion on this issue so I'm assuming you know something about it.

That is a confused rambling post. Do you understand the difference between a statement of fact versus a statement of value? In a rational discussion when you make a fact claim you are obligated to provide substantiation--to provide evidence.

The questions:

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children?

Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values?

don't concern facts they concern values, they are about what ought to be the case. Do you understand the distinction?

Before the question of what ought to be done can be addressed it is first necessary to understand what is the case. You haven't demonstrated that telling 5-year-old children about Hell causes them psychological damage so the question:

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children?

is premature. You can't arbitrarily assume that it does cause them harm. The question:

Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values?

is similarly not about facts either and can't be answered unless there is evidence that this harm is real. Your anecdotes are not evidence. Additionally whether there is a tort in the situation you describe is a jurisprudential matter. What tort specifically are you claiming for that situation?

Your question:

Do you have any double-blind randomised placebo-controlled studies written in a scientific journal that prove that dyslexia is not a real medical condition?

is incoherent. The purpose of a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study is to determine the effect size of a therapeutic intervention.
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12-01-2014, 06:04 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(10-01-2014 06:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 11:33 AM)Slowminded Wrote:  I don't know who is in charge of making that characterization of someone as Hitler 2.0?

The line is drawn where the actual threat or a call to violence is made.

"Kill all non Christians" is over that line, but "embrace Jesus or face Hell" is not even close.
"Embrace Jesus or face Hell" is just an religious advertisement (admittedly in very poor taste) , but it's not more of a threat then some toothpaste manufacturer posting a placard saying "Brush your teeth with ****** or face caries"

"The line is drawn where the actual threat or a call to violence is made."

Ok, that's a reasonable way of looking at it. Yet, that still allows fundamentalist Christian types to teach hellfire to children in school or Sunday school. What is your opinion on that?
I think it's sad, but perfectly within their rights.

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12-01-2014, 07:26 AM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
Mark,

I see the indoctrination of children e.g. missions to Africa with or without the hell-fire thing as an issue akin to selling drugs / cigarettes to the young and unaware.

I have noticed the similarities insofar as addiction as I described here.


(Chippy, I am conjecturising, not putting forward a scientific paper so don't jump down my neck! Tongue )

But the addiction issues and the free speech issue are separate. Finding ways to protect children from religion-pushers should, and I hope can, be done without curtailing anyone's right to free speech / free hearing.

I have spoken. It is law!

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12-01-2014, 06:41 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2014 07:13 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(12-01-2014 05:19 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-01-2014 04:45 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Do you have an opinion as to the merits or otherwise of Christianity on a personal level, and on society as a whole? Or, aren't you sure? Or, do you think there's no generalisations to be made? Whatever you decide, can you substantiate your opinion with evidence?

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children? If so, should tax payers money be used to subsidise the counselling of people who are haunted by the threat of hell? Perhaps you think there are no people that have nightmares about hell? Or, those that do, are illegitimate for some reason? Please provide any evidence you have for your conclusions.

We know that the incidence of teenage suicide is much higher amongst gay adolescents than heterosexual teenagers. Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values? Please provide a link to a scientific study that provides evidence for your opinion.

Do you have any double-blind randomised placebo-controlled studies written in a scientific journal that prove that dyslexia is not a real medical condition? If you're not able to do that, please discuss your personal experience of interacting with people with dyslexia or people who think they have dyslexia. I'm asking because you seem to have a firm opinion on this issue so I'm assuming you know something about it.

That is a confused rambling post. Do you understand the difference between a statement of fact versus a statement of value? In a rational discussion when you make a fact claim you are obligated to provide substantiation--to provide evidence.

The questions:

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children?

Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values?

don't concern facts they concern values, they are about what ought to be the case. Do you understand the distinction?

Before the question of what ought to be done can be addressed it is first necessary to understand what is the case. You haven't demonstrated that telling 5-year-old children about Hell causes them psychological damage so the question:

Do you think a government should allow hellfire to be taught to 5 year-old children?

is premature. You can't arbitrarily assume that it does cause them harm. The question:


Should the parents of suicide victims be allowed to sue the state if their dead children were taught Christian homophobic values?

is similarly not about facts either and can't be answered unless there is evidence that this harm is real. Your anecdotes are not evidence. Additionally whether there is a tort in the situation you describe is a jurisprudential matter. What tort specifically are you claiming for that situation?

Your question:

Do you have any double-blind randomised placebo-controlled studies written in a scientific journal that prove that dyslexia is not a real medical condition?

is incoherent. The purpose of a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study is to determine the effect size of a therapeutic intervention.

Re
"don't concern facts they concern values, they are about what ought to be the case. Do you understand the distinction?"

Yes, I understand the difference. I assume you agree that hellfire ought to not be taught to children? That is a value judgement on my part. The evidence that hellfire is detrimental to mental well being is difficult to produce. I would say commonsense should be employed here. I also think that many opinions of psychologists and doctors should be listened to. If the child's psychological well-being is negatively affected by irrational unproven dogma, should the government step in? If the parents are happy for their child to be taught about hell, does the government have a right to stop it?


Let's think of an analogy. Imagine A group of parents who smoke marijuana allowing a teacher to promote marijuana smoking to children, and in fact providing them with marijuana to smoke in the classroom. Commonsense tells us that marijuana is harmful to children. The children are not old enough to make an informed decision for themselves. Should the state protect the children? Can you state provide evidence that five year olds smoking marijuana increases the risk of mental disorders later in life? Probably not.

Now the point you are making, I think, is that the government should not be allowed to legislate on this issue. You may be right. You may also be wrong. I'm undecided. A number of people have made the point that it's only a threat of harm and not harm itself so therefore it should be allowed. I'm not so sure that this issue is purely a threat of harm, I think it is harm.

Moving on to the question of teenage suicide amongst gay people, once again commonsense must prevail. We know that suicide rates amongst gay teenagers are higher than amongst heterosexual teenagers. There can be little real doubt that that is a consequence of society's homophobic attitude. So to promote homophobia in schools causes harm. And no I'm not going to search the Internet for a study to prove what is self-evident. I know that the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning without finding a study to prove that it has risen every morning for the last 4 billion years. I do value evidence, but I also value my own common sense.

"The purpose of a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study is to determine the effect size of a therapeutic intervention."

You're right! My bad.

You made a comment about someone's dyslexia, implying they were "illiterate" Please explain what you meant, and back it up with evidence.
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12-01-2014, 07:03 PM
RE: Is threatening hell to others freedom of speech
(12-01-2014 07:26 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Mark,

I see the indoctrination of children e.g. missions to Africa with or without the hell-fire thing as an issue akin to selling drugs / cigarettes to the young and unaware.

I have noticed the similarities insofar as addiction as I described here.


(Chippy, I am conjecturising, not putting forward a scientific paper so don't jump down my neck! Tongue )

But the addiction issues and the free speech issue are separate. Finding ways to protect children from religion-pushers should, and I hope can, be done without curtailing anyone's right to free speech / free hearing.

I have spoken. It is law!

RE
I see the indoctrination of children e.g. missions to Africa with or without the hell-fire thing as an issue akin to selling drugs / cigarettes to the young and unaware

I agree. Whether the government should intervene or not is the question and I'm not sure what the answer is. Nobody wants Big Brother being overly intrusive in people's lives, yet we also want to protect the people and also the children. Consider the fact that the Catholic Church is responsible for telling native Africans not to use condoms, and according to Stephen Fry that has directly resulted in about an extra 1 million cases of AIDS in Africa. Should a government have stepped in? Absolutely yes! And if the Catholic Church continued to promote the nonsense those responsible should be imprisoned.
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