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Religion is highly correlated with the dysfunctionality of a society: Agree or disagree?


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Showing 1-25 of 925 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 May 2013 15:21:05 BDT
Henry James says:
This quote is from a recent article in "Evolution". Do you agree with its statement that I quoted in the Topic title?

"American resistance to accepting evolution is uniquely high among First World countries. This is due largely to the extreme religiosity of the United States, which is much higher than that of comparably advanced nations, and to the resistance of many religious people to the facts and supposed implications of evolution. The prevalence of religious belief in the United States suggests that outreach by scientists alone will not have a huge effect in increasing the acceptance of evolution, nor will the strategy of trying to convince the faithful that evolution is compatible with their religion. Because creationism is a symptom of religion, another strategy to promote evolution involves loosening the grip of faith on America. This is easier said than done, for recent sociological surveys show that religion is highly correlated with the dysfunctionality of a society, and various measures of societal health show that the United States is one of the most socially dysfunctional First World countries. Widespread acceptance of evolution in America, then, may have to await profound social change."

Posted on 10 May 2013 15:26:22 BDT
Henry James says:
From a recent issue of Journal of Religion and Society:
"In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of
homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion
in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S.,
is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the
most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost
always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a "shining city on the hill" to the rest of the world
is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. Youth suicide is an exception to
the general trend because there is not a significant relationship between it and religious or secular
factors. No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of
evolution with high rates of societal health"

http://moses.creighton.edu/jrs/2005/2005-11.pdf

Posted on 10 May 2013 15:28:30 BDT
Spin says:
A dysfunctional society is one in which its members have no care or understanding of other members. It has nothing to do with religion or science but everything to do with your own sense of who you and others are and what you are all worth.

Posted on 10 May 2013 15:28:52 BDT
C. A. Small says:
"Agree", would seem to be the answer, being both true and brief.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2013 15:31:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 May 2013 15:31:52 BDT
Yeah correlation generally doesn't mean much. I mean if say 3 people died and they all had Nintendos, it doesn't mean your more likely to die if you have a Nintendo it's just a correlation

We all know the US has it's problems but I think a lot of it stems from the education systems and high levels of poverty. These area's also tend to the be the highly religious areas of the country

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2013 15:37:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 May 2013 15:38:40 BDT
Henry James says:
I disagree with Steve that "correlation generally doesn't mean much."

*Everyone* today knows that it does not prove causation,

BUT
it can be used to DISPROVE causation.

If I hypothesize that

Highly religious countries are more moral and functional,

and then
I see correlations that over and over show that they are not (as is the case)
then I would be an idiot to believe my orignial hypothesis.

In other words, the correlations have DISproved it.
A valuable conclusion.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 06:15:17 BDT
Spin says:
Stephen: Very true. Some folk think that "correlation" means "cause". And this is not so. As for the US, their problems stem from the severity of social consequences created by a dedicated, inflexible capitalist, free-market system.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 10:41:55 BDT
Spin,

" As for the US, their problems stem from the severity of social consequences created by a dedicated, inflexible capitalist, free-market system. "

So you correlate the US problems to a dedicated, inflexible capitalist, free-market system? And you think this is the cause?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 19:41:20 BDT
Spin says:
REv: can't you read? I clearly said, in plain, understandable English, that correlation has nothing to do with cause. Why, therefore do you ask if I correlate capitalism with the US social problems, when I deny "correlation" as a means of explanation? You have a bad habit of reading what you want to into posts.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 22:01:57 BDT
Spin,

You clearly said " As for the US, their problems stem from the severity of social consequences created by a dedicated, inflexible capitalist, free-market system. ". You are citing this as a cause.

" Why, therefore do you ask if I correlate capitalism with the US social problems, when I deny "correlation" as a means of explanation?"

I'm asking why, when it IS a correlation. How do you KNOW it is a cause? I can think of many other countries who have the same capitalist free market systems where there isn't the same severity of social trouble. You just make a statement and assume you are right. Then defend it to the hilt even when you are clearly wrong. Or stop posting. Or use apostrophes to try to wriggle out of what you really said.

" You have a bad habit of reading what you want to into posts."

You have a bad habit of thinking you're always right. The reason you are continually challenged is because usually you are not. Capitalism does not explain social problems in the US. Many other things may do and capitalism may make it worse, but it is not the cause. And this is why I said what I said.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 22:05:41 BDT
Henry James says:
Hypothesis: Capitalism always causes multiple social problems at a high level.
Evidence: Numerous capitalist countries have a very low level of social problems (eg Homicide, infant mortality, STDs).

Conclusion: The hypothesis in incorrect, meaningless, non-predictive.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 22:21:17 BDT
Spin says:
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Posted on 12 May 2013 22:25:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2013 22:25:35 BDT
You don't think the US's problems might have something to do with its gun laws, religious fanatics, racial strife, its bad habit of ignoring its own constitution at the drop of a hat...?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2013 22:28:43 BDT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2013 10:54:18 BDT
Spin,

OK. So capitalism is to blame for social problems in the US? So look at countries by ranking them in order of percentage of population below the poverty line. The reason for doing it this way is because the poorest countries usually have the highest social problems (I hope you agree).
The countries with the highest level of population below the national poverty line are mainly poor African countries like Chad, Liberia, Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone. All of these countries have tremendous social problems from war, politics, religion, drugs, crime, starvation, lack of infrastructure etc. None are what you would call capitalist countries.
Rank the poorest countries by GDP and they are Liberia, Congo, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Burundi and Malawi - all are countries with social problems such as war, politics, religion, etc etc. None are what you would call capitalist countries.

What are the happiest countries to live in. Not surprisingly they are the ones which show a high correlation to prosperity and are associated with "stable political institutions, a strong civil society with freedom of expression, good education and healthcare, personal freedom and a feeling of being safe and secure."
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/01/09/the-worlds-happiest-and-saddest-countries-2/

Despite the greed it installs in a certain percentage of the population, capitalism correlates with better standard of living, happier people and less crime. It may not be the cause but it certainly seems that way.

Is that enough argument for you?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2013 12:32:09 BDT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2013 15:39:08 BDT
Spin,

"why do these nations have problems? because they are economically poor."

Agreed. But WHY are they economically poor? Many of them have enough resources. It is because they are unstable due to politics, religion and crime. The powerful overlords take it all and give nothing to anyone else. They invariably are invariably dictatorships. Its nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with greed and power.

"Everyone is striving to escape poverty; ie; they are in a capitalist frame of mind. "

Eh? Nonsense. Utter nonsense. You say that like escaping poverty is somehow a bad thing. You think that the family displaced by war in Ethiopia, that had their homes taken away and friends and family killed by lawless militia, that had to walk for miles to find safety in an overcrowded, filthy, temporary camp - you think they are in a capitalist frame of mind. What planet are you on?

Posted on 13 May 2013 23:57:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 May 2013 00:01:21 BDT
No socialist will ever see their ideas bear fruit if they do not first embrace capitalism

In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 00:16:25 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 00:19:54 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 00:32:27 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 07:48:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 May 2013 11:31:46 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"One could ask how anyone could be so naive as to think that evolution provides any indication as to whether there is Intelligence behind intelligence and intelligibility."
It is a rather flawed and poorly phrased question.

"I was going to start my own thing on Hume based on Peter Kreeft's gem of a book."
Oh please do. It'll be fun. You'll be done with the book within 3 posts and just resort to calling everyone uninformed logical positivists before disappearing for a bit. We'll talk amongst ourselves until someone will mention gays and then you'll pop back and that'll be all you'll talk about.

Edit: Read the sample of the book on look inside feature, ready to go on that thread.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 12:32:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 May 2013 12:44:54 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 12:44:34 BDT
Spin says:
Rev: it is not the families that wage war; it is their government, the rebels opposing that government etc. Each group fights for power, for control; and such things necessarily involve the idea of "profit". It is the capitalist ideology that screwed up Africa and the Middle east resulting in extremist rebellions against a system that favoured the rich over the poor. The Taliban and Al Qu'aida did not just spring up out of the blue; it was capitalism that created these rebellions.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2013 12:46:14 BDT
Drew Jones says:
Claims there is a state approved murder programme akin to the holocaust then posts a news item on someone jailed for carrying out abortions outside of the strict regulations applied to abortion. The logic of Bradders!
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  33
Total posts:  925
Initial post:  10 May 2013
Latest post:  5 Jun 2013

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