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Thread: Religion hampering efforts to save environments?

  1. #1 Religion hampering efforts to save environments? 
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    Religious people (especially those that interpret everything literally) seem quite indifferent when it comes to environmental issues and the need for action to solve them. A lot of the pressing environmental issues today demand momentous action, otherwise we will cross a threshold of no return where technology could not save us in time. Not to mention that even today the world's resources are being depleted faster than they naturally replenish. This coupled with almost runaway/disproportionate population growths in developing countries we would need more than one Earth to meet ample needs if things keep going as they are.

    How does religion play into this? Well I've been thinking on this issue a bit and I have come to a conclusion, if you will bear with me. A few hours ago I remembered a evangelical sermon that I watched over YouTube (can't remember its name and don't ask me why I was watching it in the first place) and it was basically a guy rambling on about how global warming and resource depletion were all BS because the Bible clearly states that God will give us everything we need. I was pretty much, "Wat? True story?" And, lo, behold:

    http://bible.cc/philippians/4-19.htm

    +

    http://bible.cc/romans/8-32.htm

    The only literal interpretation I can gather from that is simply this: If god gave us his son then he will give everything else, because nothing is more precious than his son.

    This may be only Bible related, however since Christianity is the most dominant religion out there what they believe really makes a difference, because their beliefs might dissuade them from the necessary actions needed simply based on the fact that their belief tells them that the problem does not exist in the first place, or that god will fix it or give it to us (I do believe that Islam and Judaism share a view that is in common, knowing their history).

    I realize that there will be religious people who do acknowledge these issues and press for action, and the likely-hood of them being here and telling me that my conclusion is BS based on the fact that they are here is higher than those who don't. But please consider that not all billions who are Christian or whatever have the privilege of a decent education and awareness of the world (plus internet), and that the word of the bible (as sad as it may be) is the extent of their education. Or if you can't read and your spiritual guide (pastor, father, etc...) tells you god will take care of everything as long as you have faith.

    I feel like there would be more pressure on governments and corporations if people were more united in their worries for the environment, and it is my conclusion that religious beliefs (but on of many) play a big part undermining efforts for change, and since they are the majority, greatly so.

    - Discuss


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  3. #2 Re: Religion hampering efforts to save environments? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by am_I_doin'_it_rite
    Religious people (especially those that interpret everything literally) seem quite indifferent when it comes to environmental issues and the need for action to solve them. A lot of the pressing environmental issues today demand momentous action, otherwise we will cross a threshold of no return where technology could not save us in time. Not to mention that even today the world's resources are being depleted faster than they naturally replenish. This coupled with almost runaway/disproportionate population growths in developing countries we would need more than one Earth to meet ample needs if things keep going as they are.

    How does religion play into this? Well I've been thinking on this issue a bit and I have come to a conclusion, if you will bear with me. A few hours ago I remembered a evangelical sermon that I watched over YouTube (can't remember its name and don't ask me why I was watching it in the first place) and it was basically a guy rambling on about how global warming and resource depletion were all BS because the Bible clearly states that God will give us everything we need. I was pretty much, "Wat? True story?" And, lo, behold:

    http://bible.cc/philippians/4-19.htm

    +

    http://bible.cc/romans/8-32.htm

    The only literal interpretation I can gather from that is simply this: If god gave us his son then he will give everything else, because nothing is more precious than his son.

    This may be only Bible related, however since Christianity is the most dominant religion out there what they believe really makes a difference, because their beliefs might dissuade them from the necessary actions needed simply based on the fact that their belief tells them that the problem does not exist in the first place, or that god will fix it or give it to us (I do believe that Islam and Judaism share a view that is in common, knowing their history).

    I realize that there will be religious people who do acknowledge these issues and press for action, and the likely-hood of them being here and telling me that my conclusion is BS based on the fact that they are here is higher than those who don't. But please consider that not all billions who are Christian or whatever have the privilege of a decent education and awareness of the world (plus internet), and that the word of the bible (as sad as it may be) is the extent of their education. Or if you can't read and your spiritual guide (pastor, father, etc...) tells you god will take care of everything as long as you have faith.

    I feel like there would be more pressure on governments and corporations if people were more united in their worries for the environment, and it is my conclusion that religious beliefs (but on of many) play a big part undermining efforts for change, and since they are the majority, greatly so.

    - Discuss
    Actually I recall one prominent atheistic scientist conceding that the world faces such a dire circumstance that he is okay with working with a current mood amongst theists that they have to get together and save god's creation.

    Might have heard it here

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightli...10/2803672.htm

    Charles Birch, the Australian biologist, ecologist and theologian, passed away December last year at the age of 91. The American ecologist, Paul Ehrlich, described him as "Australia's most distinguished single scientist". His work with the Council of Churches led to a breakthrough in ecological sustainability and in 1990 he won the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. His way of thinking influenced many prominent Australians. This is a discussion about Charles Birch and the legacy he leaves behind.


    Frankly I don't think the current crisis can be relegated to a mere issue of anti/theological perspective. Just as there are theists who may think god is some sort of omnipotent vending machine more than eager to sustain our stupidity, there are some gross materialists who say there is no need to curb our stupidity since science has the means to solve any problem no matter how tight the fix.


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  4. #3  
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    I count three religious beliefs detrimental to good long-term planning: Firstly, the belief that this corporeal world is but one shabby & dispensable plane of existence. Secondly, the already mentioned belief that "it's gonna be alright" e.g. God will take care or it; or, want and suffering are all in the mind, and the world is in fact perfect. Thirdly, and not necessarily exclusive of the second, the belief that prophesies of Armageddon are coming true - these people may actually hope Israel and neighbours spiral into thermonuclear war, or hope that fires and floods ravage the Earth, because these signs confirm belief and precede divine intervention.

    On the other hand, beliefs are as complex, changeable, and delusional as the people who live them. So they may rationalize good too: the Green Bible .
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    So the majority of the world, inflicted by poverty, does not suffer from fundamentalist and/or extremist views and interpretations of their religion? It is common that when the level of education and living standards improve so does amount of people believing in outdated living instructions. Sadly most of the world that is today lives in a world much like the dark ages. Religion prospers in the poorest areas of the world, solely on the basis that a better life awaits you beyond the complete crap that it is now.

    How can there be environmental reforms when many people refuse to believe in the issues because god will fix it, or it doesn't matter anyway because the world is gonna end in our life time? It's not feasible for industrialized countries to keep going as they are, nor is it feasible for developing countries to industrialize themselves as we did; there is simply not enough to go around.

    I'm not saying religion is solely to blame, but it is one of the factors. A large one at that since there are many people that have literal interpretations of religious text.

    I'm sorry, but some unheard of guy in Australia and the Green Bible? Stuff like that caters to a minority. Yes they may rationalize good, but you only see things like this in industrialized countries . I just wish there was some sort of real survey that can show whether there is a correlation between awareness of environmental issues and belief in religion (most likely it will be within industrialized countries so a survey like this may even be skewed from the world-wide reality).
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    Quote Originally Posted by am_I_doin'_it_rite
    So the majority of the world, inflicted by poverty, does not suffer from fundamentalist and/or extremist views and interpretations of their religion?
    generally they suffer from poverty, which simply menas they can't afford to be green
    It is common that when the level of education and living standards improve so does amount of people believing in outdated living instructions. Sadly most of the world that is today lives in a world much like the dark ages. Religion prospers in the poorest areas of the world, solely on the basis that a better life awaits you beyond the complete crap that it is now.
    actually there are plenty of arguments for modern life being complete crap
    How can there be environmental reforms when many people refuse to believe in the issues because god will fix it, or it doesn't matter anyway because the world is gonna end in our life time?
    Or alternatively, how can there be environmental reforms when people have such a resolute determination to continue with an industrial economy based on exponential consumption with the faith that science can solve the hardest fix?
    It's not feasible for industrialized countries to keep going as they are, nor is it feasible for developing countries to industrialize themselves as we did; there is simply not enough to go around.
    So what do you propose?
    I mean do you expect the poorer countries to simply accept that they are destined to remain poor because the first world has screwed the environment in such a fashion that prohibits them from becoming industrial?
    I'm not saying religion is solely to blame, but it is one of the factors. A large one at that since there are many people that have literal interpretations of religious text.
    I think that you are simply using the environmental crisis as an excuse to lend weight to the chip you have on your shoulder.

    The large contributor are persons with degrees in finance (which basically boils down to a belief in unlimited consumption)

    I'm sorry, but some unheard of guy in Australia and the Green Bible?
    What is unheard of is the information you are using to back your claims that religion is synonymous with the notion of it being ok to trash the world.

    Stuff like that caters to a minority.
    Then perhaps you should just come out and throw on the table exactly what you are citing for a "majority"

    Yes they may rationalize good, but you only see things like this in industrialized countries .
    or, as the opposite to your tentative argument goes, "yes, you may rationalize theism as bad ..."



    I just wish there was some sort of real survey that can show whether there is a correlation between awareness of environmental issues and belief in religion (most likely it will be within industrialized countries so a survey like this may even be skewed from the world-wide reality).
    I just wish you would speak straightly about what would constitute a data point for a correlation between environmental awareness and religious belief.[/quote]
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  7. #6  
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    loft marcell,
    are you disputing the suggestion that some fundamentalist Christian perspectives may encourage a disregard for environmental issues? This seems a reasonable postulate. It matches observations I have made. All am_I_doin_it_rite is asking is how extensive is this influence of religion on attitudes to environmental issues. Isn't that a reasonable thing to ask?
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    I wonder if religious people go out to eat as much as non religious people

    and if religious people tend to have more family dinners than non religious people



    you can save resources by cooking for a group, rather than just feeding yourself

    also if you are living alone, you are paying for heating/cooling/hot water, just for yourself, wheras if you are living with others you will save some resources than if you each had your own house with heating/cooling/hot water

    same goes for telivision, computers, radios, video games and even lighting

    if you are sharing a telivision with someone, then you are using half the electricity than if you each had your own telivision, not to mention the materials used to manufacture, and the energy used to transport the telivision to where it was purchased. This same goes for all the things listed above and many more.

    Sharing is one of the best ways to lessen one's impact on the world.

    So I'm curious as to whether there are any significant differences in the amount that religious vs nonreligious people share, and if there is a significant difference amongst the variety of different religious points of view as well. Since not all religions are the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    generally they suffer from poverty, which simply menas they can't afford to be green
    No it does not only mean that can't afford to be green. They can't afford to be many things, which coincidentally are offered as rewards in the afterlife. Besides you missed my point there somewhat. There have been numerous studies showing the correlation between poverty and religious activity/growth. If you read the two passages I provided from the Bible it is easy to see that if one interprets literally (which most uneducated people do) then it causes indifference; they simply don't care about the problems in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    actually there are plenty of arguments for modern life being complete crap
    Modern life is not crap. You do not know what a crap life is. Not until you've truly seen how people live elsewhere in the world. And if you for one second think that I am saying that religion makes your life crap you couldn't be more wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    Or alternatively, how can there be environmental reforms when people have such a resolute determination to continue with an industrial economy based on exponential consumption with the faith that science can solve the hardest fix?
    I'm quite sure I made it clear that religion is not the only culprit. Environmental issues are not handled due to many reasons, all I'm saying is that religion may be one of them, and possibly a large one too considering the capacity of religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    So what do you propose? I mean do you expect the poorer countries to simply accept that they are destined to remain poor because the first world has screwed the environment in such a fashion that prohibits them from becoming industrial?
    Did I make thread called, "How to fix the environment from religious obstruction."? No I did not, however you make a valid point which I am aware of. The recent Copenhagen convention was a failure because of such perspectives. Fast developing countries like China and India would not accept same standards as already industrialized areas like Western EU.

    I completely agree that these countries got to where they are because they did not know and did not care for the cost. Now we are burdened with this knowledge. Even though it is unfair, the greatest tragedy would be taking away the future. Even now China is realizing its mistake too far. Its rapid industrialization without environmental control is costing a chunk of the annual GDP due to rising health problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    I think that you are simply using the environmental crisis as an excuse to lend weight to the chip you have on your shoulder.

    The large contributor are persons with degrees in finance (which basically boils down to a belief in unlimited consumption)
    What is your problem. I'm asking for a discussion and I get a flame? I am aware of these things. The topic here is the impact of religion, not who does or did the most. You seem extremely defensive.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    What is unheard of is the information you are using to back your claims that religion is synonymous with the notion of it being ok to trash the world.
    I did not say that. Stop twisting my words. I said it causes indifference, based on the fact that scripture pretty much tells you that god will provide everything we need, aka infinite resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    Then perhaps you should just come out and throw on the table exactly what you are citing for a "majority".
    The majority of the world, if you have even bothered to travel outside your own town (I have been to Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, India, China, Sub Saharan Africa and Mozambique). I have personally seen what the world is like outside the comfort zone. The majority of the world is extremely poor, and these people readily accept superstitions and religious texts literally. Religion plays a major role in these people's lives, and it tells them how to live.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    or, as the opposite to your tentative argument goes, "yes, you may rationalize theism as bad ..."
    You are making this personal... which it is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    I just wish you would speak straightly about what would constitute a data point for a correlation between environmental awareness and religious belief.
    I think I did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    loft marcell,
    are you disputing the suggestion that some fundamentalist Christian perspectives may encourage a disregard for environmental issues? This seems a reasonable postulate. It matches observations I have made. All am_I_doin_it_rite is asking is how extensive is this influence of religion on attitudes to environmental issues. Isn't that a reasonable thing to ask?
    I am disputing that it is a major or large contributor
    eg

    I'm not saying religion is solely to blame, but it is one of the factors. A large one at that since there are many people that have literal interpretations of religious text.


    IOW he is not asking how extensive it is ... rather he is already assuming that.

    What I am asking is what body of work he is basing this assumption on.

    At the moment, all it appears he is doing is offering a possible rationalization of how theism can be interpreted to justify environmental destruction. This is not very effective since practically any view point can be rationalized in the same manner (for instance persons can shirk responsibility on the strength of the conviction that there is no problem too big for science top solve)

    For me, there is a real need to survey the social habits that underpin the environmental crisis and I find the attempt to relegate the subject to an anti/theological perspective akin to Nero's fiddling while Rome burned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I wonder if religious people go out to eat as much as non religious people

    and if religious people tend to have more family dinners than non religious people



    you can save resources by cooking for a group, rather than just feeding yourself

    also if you are living alone, you are paying for heating/cooling/hot water, just for yourself, wheras if you are living with others you will save some resources than if you each had your own house with heating/cooling/hot water

    same goes for telivision, computers, radios, video games and even lighting

    if you are sharing a telivision with someone, then you are using half the electricity than if you each had your own telivision, not to mention the materials used to manufacture, and the energy used to transport the telivision to where it was purchased. This same goes for all the things listed above and many more.

    Sharing is one of the best ways to lessen one's impact on the world.

    So I'm curious as to whether there are any significant differences in the amount that religious vs nonreligious people share, and if there is a significant difference amongst the variety of different religious points of view as well. Since not all religions are the same.
    How about divorce?
    Study: Single households consume lots more per capita than married ones
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22086806/
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by loftmarcell
    How about divorce?
    Study: Single households consume lots more per capita than married ones
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22086806/
    Well, considering that religious people get divorced more often than non-religious people, your argument sort of fails.


    http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistf...stsDivorce.htm
    The Barna Research Group, an evangelical Christian organization that does surveys and research to better understand what Christians believe and how they behave, studied divorce rates in America in 1999 and found surprising evidence that divorce is far lower among atheists than among conservative Christians.

    <...>

    The highest divorce rates are in the Bible Belt: "Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma round out the Top Five in frequency of divorce...the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average" of 4.2/1000 people. Nine states in the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland) have the lowest divorce rates, averaging just 3.5/1000 people.

    Barna isn't the only group to arrive at these numbers. Other researchers have also found that conservative Protestants get divorced more often than other groups, even more often than "mainline" Protestants. The fact that atheists and agnostics divorce less often than other religious groups was, however, surprising to many.

    <...>

    The difference in divorce rates is particularly interesting given the fact that the Christians getting divorced in the highest numbers are among the same Christians who are most likely to raise an alarm about the state of marriage in society. They also tend to be the same Christians who want to deny gays the right to marry on the assumption that gay marriage is a "threat" to the institution of marriage. If marriage is in any danger in America, perhaps the threat comes from the unstable marriages of conservative Christians, not the relationships of gays or the marriages of godless atheists.


    Specific to the thread topic, a really short write-up here:


    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonam...vironment.html
    What's so important about the potentially powerful influence of conservative evangelical Christians on environmental issues, especially global warming? For years, many of these evangelicals have been charging environmentalists-and those progressive Christians who support environmentalism-with idolatry for lavishing worship on "God's creation" rather than God. Moreover, they have been skeptical, if not downright hostile, toward government-mandated protection of the environment.

    So as President Bush early in his administration initiated efforts to roll back a slew of federal environmental regulations-including safeguards on clean air and water and protections against commercial logging and drilling on public lands, among others-and withdrew American support for the Kyoto treaty on global warming, he knew he could count on conservative evangelicals to remain firmly in his corner.


    And... this being a science site... Here is an AMAZING write-up which appeared in the journal Science in 1967 (Science 155(3767):1203-1207, 1967) on this very topic:


    http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/destiny/re...p1203-1967.pdf
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    Divorce rates are misleading because often non-religious don't marry in the first place.

    I think it's fair to assume the most religious people will be most intent on legal marriage and traditional family lifestyle. They will spend accordingly. On the other hand they'll have more children.

    I agree with marcusclayman's suggestion that environmental footprint of non-religious may be larger. A materialist may be wedded to consumer lifestyle, for lack of other purpose. One embodiment of this you can see in the Canadian habit of vacationing to tropical countries every winter. These are comfortable, relatively irreligious middle classes; the same people who spend more on groceries and dining out in a month than poor people spend in a year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Divorce rates are misleading because often non-religious don't marry in the first place.
    Is there any data that supports that non-religious marry at rates less than religious?

    I think it's fair to assume the most religious people will be most intent on legal marriage and traditional family lifestyle.
    Why would this be a fair assumption? I'm not sure I follow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Divorce rates are misleading because often non-religious don't marry in the first place.
    What? I'd like to see you show some evidence on that, as I wholly disagree and sense that you've just pulled that out of your anus.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I think it's fair to assume the most religious people will be most intent on legal marriage and traditional family lifestyle. They will spend accordingly. On the other hand they'll have more children.
    Again, this requires substantiation. It's not a fair assumption, and I am here now directly challenging it. How will you meet my challenge? Will you support, retract, or evade?


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I agree with marcusclayman's suggestion that environmental footprint of non-religious may be larger.
    And the environmental footprint of churches and church goers may be larger... and I may win the lottery... and my enjoyment of whiskey may lead to shenanigans... Seriously? Is this the level of argument we're having? Come on, man.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    A materialist may be wedded to consumer lifestyle, for lack of other purpose.
    You have a really distorted view, and the distortion is steering you AWAY from reality, not toward it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    One embodiment of this you can see in the Canadian habit of vacationing to tropical countries every winter. These are comfortable, relatively irreligious middle classes; the same people who spend more on groceries and dining out in a month than poor people spend in a year.
    You seem to be suggesting that it is their lack of religion leads to those behaviors. Is that what you're saying?


    EDIT: It appears that the Dermis Ambulator beat me to it. 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I wonder if religious people go out to eat as much as non religious people

    and if religious people tend to have more family dinners than non religious people



    you can save resources by cooking for a group, rather than just feeding yourself

    also if you are living alone, you are paying for heating/cooling/hot water, just for yourself, wheras if you are living with others you will save some resources than if you each had your own house with heating/cooling/hot water

    same goes for telivision, computers, radios, video games and even lighting

    if you are sharing a telivision with someone, then you are using half the electricity than if you each had your own telivision, not to mention the materials used to manufacture, and the energy used to transport the telivision to where it was purchased. This same goes for all the things listed above and many more.

    Sharing is one of the best ways to lessen one's impact on the world.

    So I'm curious as to whether there are any significant differences in the amount that religious vs nonreligious people share, and if there is a significant difference amongst the variety of different religious points of view as well. Since not all religions are the same.
    I don't think that the only option for an atheist lifestyle is hermit living and the high-rolling nonstop restaurant lifestyle. Personally, I think when I make a decision whether to go out and eat, or eat at home, it has more to do with my income and what I can afford at the moment than my theological worldview.

    My mother is a devout Anglican but she hasn't cooked a thing in years, I think that draws more from her lifestyle as a well paid accountant than her religion.
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    Your footprint is dependent on your wealth. A religious person earning $80,000 and non-religious person earning the same will probably consume the same, with different consumption patterns however. The real question is, which one of these two is more likely to be aware of environmental issues and which one is more willing to consume healthier?

    Loftmarcell, I'm not trying to assume anything. What I meant is that it is probable that it contributes significantly, an accidental omission. If I was assuming then my title would have been a statement, not a question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Divorce rates are misleading because often non-religious don't marry in the first place.
    Is there any data that supports that non-religious marry at rates less than religious?
    Sure. We observe marriage rate declining in countries both industrialized and with atheistic trend, while common-law relationships increase. Seems like a package deal. It's common knowledge that religious people frown upon cohabitation out of wedlock. If this all seems "out of Pong's anus" then I suggest reading this article.

    In my quick search I couldn't find a graph online incorporating legal marriage vs. informal unions and divorce rate. But grab any two, you'll see correlation. Then if you think about it causation is logical: Of course unmarried couples by definition can't divorce.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I think it's fair to assume the most religious people will be most intent on legal marriage and traditional family lifestyle.
    Why would this be a fair assumption? I'm not sure I follow.
    Well, they say it themselves don't they? Who's pushing "family values"?
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    "Well, considering that religious people get divorced more often than non-religious people, your argument sort of fails. "-inow

    I didn't have an argument. I specifically said that I wonder... and then listed various things that I wonder.

    Pong misrepresented me by agreeing with something I never said or implied.

    So, would anyone, since you are all so passionate about refuting each other on the subject: care to share their reasons for claiming that theists marry more or less than atheists? I am truly curious on what is true, and have no reason to think either way.

    There are other ways of sharing resources, not just in marriage.

    For example roommates may or may not share resources. The amount that roommates share may or may not be correlated with religious beliefs.

    Unwed families, that is, "life partners," and their children may or may not share resources. Again, the amount that they share resources may or may not be correlated with religious beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "Well, considering that religious people get divorced more often than non-religious people, your argument sort of fails. "-inow

    I didn't have an argument. I specifically said that I wonder... and then listed various things that I wonder.
    Well... Thanks for sharing that, and all, marcus... but my post about the failed argument was not in response to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    So, would anyone, since you are all so passionate about refuting each other on the subject: care to share their reasons for claiming that theists marry more or less than atheists? I am truly curious on what is true, and have no reason to think either way.
    This is the same question which I (and SkinWalker) have been asking, so you are now the third person. Maybe the person who made the claim (Pong) will be good enough to support or retract it.
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    Maybe I should change the topic to: "Divorce! Who does it more, Atheists or theists?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by am_I_doin'_it_rite
    Maybe I should change the topic to: "Divorce! Who does it more, Atheists or theists?"
    I already answered that question on the last page, and included references. Theists divorce more than atheists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by am_I_doin'_it_rite
    Maybe I should change the topic to: "Divorce! Who does it more, Atheists or theists?"
    I already answered that question on the last page, and included references. Theists divorce more than atheists.
    Awesome, especially since that is the name of the thread...
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  24. #23  
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    Out of curiosity, what did you think of the 1967 article from the journal Science which I shared?
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    " Maybe the person who made the claim (Pong) will be good enough to support or retract it."

    You claimed that he was wrong, so you should at least be as "good" as you suggest others being when supporting your own claims. That is, lead by example.
    Dick, be Frank.

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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    " Maybe the person who made the claim (Pong) will be good enough to support or retract it."

    You claimed that he was wrong, so you should at least be as "good" as you suggest others being when supporting your own claims. That is, lead by example.
    And what precisely are you suggesting that I've failed to support? I'll gladly back-up my arguments if asked if you'll clarify what you think I've stated which requires support.

    On top of that, I've hardly claimed that he was "wrong." I've challenged his assertion that theists marry more often than non-theists, and have asked him to offer evidence in support. I have no idea whether he is right or wrong on that, and that's exactly the point. I think he just made that up, and am asking him to support it. Incidentally, SkinWalker made the exact same request.
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  27. #26  
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    Religious people (especially those that interpret everything literally) seem quite indifferent when it comes to environmental issues and the need for action to solve them.
    This is yet another of those annoying generalizations that crop up quite frequently. Have you heard of Barack Obama? Or Bill Clinton? I believe they would be called "religious people". Ever hear of this guy:
    VATICAN CITY Pope Benedict XVI denounced the failure of world leaders to agree to a new climate change treaty in Copenhagen last month, saying Monday that world peace depends on safeguarding God's creation.
    How about this organization? I expect there are others.

    http://christiansandclimate.org/

    Here's a list of pastors and priests (or whatever they call themselves) who are "Signatories to Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action"

    http://christiansandclimate.org/lear...n/signatories/
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  28. #27  
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    "Divorce rates are misleading because often non-religious don't marry in the first place."

    Inow, you responded "I'd like to see you show some evidence on that, as I wholly disagree"

    Why do you disagree?

    Now, you might disagree simply because pong didn't define how often when he says "often" so it is open to interpretation.
    Dick, be Frank.

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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "Divorce rates are misleading because often non-religious don't marry in the first place."

    Inow, you responded "I'd like to see you show some evidence on that, as I wholly disagree"

    Why do you disagree?
    I disagree because marriage has become a social institution, not a religious one.
    I disagree because of all of my atheist and non-believing friends who marry just as readily and just as often as my theist and believing friends.
    I disagree because it would be equally valid to state that "often religious people don't marry in the first place," so it really added nothing to the exchange taking place here.

    I disagree for lots of reasons, and I think he simply made up that claim based on his own biases and preconceptions.

    Hence, my request for him to support or retract it.
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  30. #29  
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    Well it seems you disagree because of your own biases.

    Religion is a social institution.

    Your friends are not universal archetypes applicable to all of humanity.

    "I disagree because it would be equally valid to state that "often religious people don't marry in the first place," so it really added nothing to the exchange taking place here."

    This is your only valid reason for disagreeing with the validity of his claim. But you didn't clearly state what you were disagreeing with. My apologies, but please be more specific next time.

    Again, "often" is a value term, it needs to be substantiated to mean anything communicable.
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    My statement of disagreement was intended to serve as further motivation for Pong to support his claim. For the love of Thor, man... He made an assertion, and it's been challenged. Why you are focusing so heavily on me who made said challenge is really beyond me. The burden of proof resides with Pong, and the onus is on him to support his assertion or retract it if he is unable.
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  32. #31  
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    No matter your intentions, you disagree, implying that you have a reason to believe otherwise, not simply that you have a reason to believe that pong's claim was made without reason.

    I am not focusing on you for any reason except that you are asking for something from someone, without being willing to give it when you are also asked for the same exact thing.

    I frankly do not care if you share with me your reasons, but that if you have none, to correct your previous statement so it does not mean what you do not imply it to mean.

    I am sure if pong responds with "All my theist friends are more willing to marry than my atheist friends" you would not be satisfied with his reasoning, would you?
    Dick, be Frank.

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    Pong made an assertion. I asked him to support it. That's all there is to it, Marcus.

    If I had made an assertion then I would be the one required to support it. I did not, however, do that. No assertions were made by me.

    What I DID do was to voice an opinion of disagreement as pertains to a claim made by someone else. In conjunction with voicing that opinion of disagreement, I requested that Pong substantiate the assertion to which I was responding.

    This has grown rather tiresome.
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  34. #33 Is Religion Anti Ecology? 
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    Interesting thought but, religions like many other sub divided codes of human behaviour will always range from the sensible to the downright outlandish. To state categorically that anyone of any religious persuasion is anti or pro climate change is a nonsense.
    The key is to look at what any religious group or sect actually teach their congregations. Interestingly the largest religious group worldwide is Catholicism. Over 1 billion of the total world population of 6 billion is Catholic. Therefore to get a really good handle on the religious approach to climate change it is worth looking at Catholic social teaching on the subject.
    The Catholic approach is fairly simple; as Catholics we own nothing on earth, all that we have is given by God and entrusted to our care. That includes the Earth! Therefore it follows that if we don't own it, and it is in trust to us, we have a responsibility to care for it. Ergo, any threat to this world, from Global Warming, War, Famine et al. is apposed by the church. Simple really!
    If anyone on this forum lives in the UK and is a practising Catholic will know that last year (each year the church choses a different aspect of the churches interests to concentrate on) was the year of the environment. Many Catholic communities in the UK were involved in, and contributed to, lessening the effects of Global Warming by following simple individual ways of behaviour to lessen mans impact.
    The theology behind this is often contrary to some of the more fundamental (and I hasten to add way out) christian sects that interpret the Old Testament as an absolute truth, the Catholic church is far more subtle, viewing the Old Testament as being a number od stories written by various individuals over a matter of a few hundred to a thousand years diegned by God but interpreted by man designed to give lessons of the time. Many of the "Lessons" can still be applied today but they do not, and never will contradict modern science.
    The thought of early man having dinasours as pets should stay firmly in the realms of the Flintstones, not in the real world we all have to live in!
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  35. #34  
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    "The key is to look at what any religious group or sect actually teach their congregations."

    Not quite that simple. One would be more informed by looking first at particular details in how people live their lives, and then finding patterns amongst groups who share philosophical and religious beliefs.
    Dick, be Frank.

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  36. #35  
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    Inow, If I indeed misunderstood what you were saying, sorry for carrying it on so long. But the way you say it "I disagree" is not the same as saying "I have no reason to agree," which is what you mean, correct?
    Dick, be Frank.

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  37. #36 Did I pick up rthe subject wrong? 
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    Marcus,

    I was under the impression that the subject was how RELIGION tackles the problems we all face:

    "How does religion play into this? Well I've been thinking on this issue a bit and I have come to a conclusion, if you will bear with me. A few hours ago I remembered a evangelical sermon that I watched over YouTube (can't remember its name and don't ask me why I was watching it in the first place) and it was basically a guy rambling on about how global warming and resource depletion were all BS because the Bible clearly states that God will give us everything we need."
    If the question is one of individuals then religion has no place. Your reponse is akin to questioning what a university teaches its medical students about how to keep people alive but then decrying the fact that a student doesn't follow what the university teaches and effectively goes on to a path of killing them. Is the university then at fault?

    I accept that a study of individual behaviour and linking that to a religious belief may be of some benefit but I would contend that is a completely different question to the one posed. But I would suggest that answering this question, like any relating to human morals would result in a multitude of differing answers, all of which would be contradictory. The Haiti earthquake would be a very good example. Much of the initial work was carried out by religious organisations already in the country and although small and smasmodic it was warmly welcomed by those who benefited. On the other hand we have another religious organisation accused of removing children illegally from the country claiming them to be orphans, a claim that it seems is being disproven at this very moment. This goes back to my original contention that it is the teaching of religious values that is important. Individuals reaction to them is totally unpredictable.

    It does of course lead to the age old question, if the Church teaches 100 people a particular course of action and, 99 people ignore it, does that mean that the the Church is wrong, or is just 1 person enough to justify the lesson?
    Someone once said "Scientists do their best work before their 30 years old and their worst after their 50. Where do YOU figure!
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  38. #37  
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    But if you ONLY look at the church, and what the members of the church are doing to solve problems, then you cannot know for sure whether it is the church that is influencing their actions and not some other cultural peculiarity, like socio economic class, career, life style, geographic location, political views, etc.

    That is, you need a control in any study. If religion is your subject, non religious philosophies would be the natural choice for a control.
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  39. #38  
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    A more fundamental consideration is that many people do not agree with the basic premise of the original post. Most people agree that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment but most do not believe the environment is in urgent need of being saved. So long as this is true it seems irrelevant if this majority is religious or not. Perhaps we might also ask why non-religious people are more likely to be paranoid that humans might or even can irrevocably destroy the environment? In other words, can we actually establish that the environment is in dire need of being saved?
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Most people agree that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment but most [stupid and ill-informed people who believe the bullshit they're being spoon-fed by sources like Fox News] do not believe the environment is in urgent need of being saved.
    There. I fixed your quote so now it's accurate.

    You might want to avoid these continued specious claims you keep making, cypress, with your loose and evasive descriptor of "most." Being a science site, you of course know that this is a meaningless and useless term, and that you should instead be putting forth hard percentages with the audience clearly defined, along with citations in support.

    With your track record here, though, I know I am asking too much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Most people agree that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment but most [stupid and ill-informed people who believe the bullshit they're being spoon-fed by sources like Fox News] do not believe the environment is in urgent need of being saved.
    There. I fixed your quote so now it's accurate.

    You might want to avoid these continued specious claims you keep making, cypress, with your loose and evasive descriptor of "most." Being a science site, you of course know that this is a meaningless and useless term, and that you should instead be putting forth hard percentages with the audience clearly defined, along with citations in support.
    I wonder if the moderators approve of doctoring other poster's quotes.

    "Most" and the elaboration later "majority" of course are well defined terms that mean greater than 50% of a sample set. The surveys are out there for anyone to see. Do you dispute this?

    edit: While you are mulling over that question perhaps you can scientifically support your assertion that the majority of people are stupid and ill-informed and believe spoon fed bs. How about you following your own advice before incorrectly accusing someone else of being unscientific?
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    Precisely as I expected. Nothing concrete from cypress... no reference, no actual percentage, no information about the population in the sample... Nothing. Go figure.
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  43. #42  
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    It is sad to see how a subject that concerns 90% of the worlds population, those most at risk from Climate Change, can degenerate into a slanging match because someone takes offence at a word or expression.

    Reminds a little of one of the fables:

    The Dog and the Shadow

    A DOG, crossing a bridge over a stream with a piece of flesh in
    his mouth, saw his own shadow in the water and took it for that
    of another Dog, with a piece of meat double his own in size. He
    immediately let go of his own, and fiercely attacked the other
    Dog to get his larger piece from him. He thus lost both: that
    which he grasped at in the water, because it was a shadow; and
    his own, because the stream swept it away.


    A bit like the Captain of the Titanic arguing with the orchestra on what should be the next piece of music, instead of looking where he was going.
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    Materialsman, your point, like most others in this thread presuppose that it is an imminent threat to fail to act to save the environment. Your analogy works because there was an underlying threat (the stream and the current) to the dog. Likewise, it is well established that icebergs are a threat to ships and those that plow the Northern Atlantic should keep a watch for them.

    This thread is failing to make a point because, thus far, the underlying presumptions have not been validated. Perhaps you can step in and validate what the others have been unable to do.
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "The key is to look at what any religious group or sect actually teach their congregations."

    Not quite that simple. One would be more informed by looking first at particular details in how people live their lives, and then finding patterns amongst groups who share philosophical and religious beliefs.
    Actually if you were investigating patterns amongst groups, you would be looking at social values, primarily economical.

    As materialsman noted, trying to tag a pro or anti spin to environmentalism based on religiosity is a red herring
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I wonder if religious people go out to eat as much as non religious people

    and if religious people tend to have more family dinners than non religious people



    you can save resources by cooking for a group, rather than just feeding yourself

    also if you are living alone, you are paying for heating/cooling/hot water, just for yourself, wheras if you are living with others you will save some resources than if you each had your own house with heating/cooling/hot water

    same goes for telivision, computers, radios, video games and even lighting

    if you are sharing a telivision with someone, then you are using half the electricity than if you each had your own telivision, not to mention the materials used to manufacture, and the energy used to transport the telivision to where it was purchased. This same goes for all the things listed above and many more.

    Sharing is one of the best ways to lessen one's impact on the world.

    So I'm curious as to whether there are any significant differences in the amount that religious vs nonreligious people share, and if there is a significant difference amongst the variety of different religious points of view as well. Since not all religions are the same.
    A green ranking by state indicates that your southerns states are less green than your more cosmopolitan states.

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/16/env...nstates_2.html
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  47. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    A green ranking by state indicates that your southerns states are less green than your more cosmopolitan states.

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/16/env...nstates_2.html
    Interesting when you compare that to the "importance of religion" by state:


    LEFT GRAPHIC = Importance of religion
    RIGHT GRAPHIC = Green-ness of state


    ...
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  48. #47  
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    and you think there is a correlation? because there is not...
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    and you think there is a correlation? because there is not...
    Actually, yes, there is. I could even calculate it for you, but you probably wouldn't understand. 8)


    Regardless, the only claim I made was that it was "interesting." If you feel the need to attack that, then I am truly sorry you are so insecure about your beliefs.
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  50. #49  
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    There most certainly is a correlation. There just isn't a direct causation. Religion goes hand in hand with wastefulness... That's all. They are often seen together, as atheism is often seem with with a stark rise in conscientious and condescending behavior.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  51. #50  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    and you think there is a correlation? because there is not...
    You're kidding, right?

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  52. #51  
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    Inow's mathematical approach would be a little more honest than your selective drawing of lines skinwalker. If he wants to do that, I can check his math and see if it is correct. One of the anomalies you avoided was Maryland and it explains a lot because that is the Catholic state. It would also have been interesting to see where Pennsylvania is in the right hand graph. There is a correlation because there is a large religious body where you can find a rejection against environmental concerns as a hobby horse of the political left. And what does the existence of this group prove exactly? That ideological groups can be dangerous and destructive? Is there really anyone who does not understand this? The most dangerous and destructive of such ideological groups on a massive worldwide scale in the last century was an atheist one. We even have Arcane_Mathematician demonstrating right here how prone to ideological blindness atheists can be.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    It would also have been interesting to see where Pennsylvania is in the right hand graph.
    Pennsylvania is 32nd. All states can be found in the link provided by free radical, I just couldn't find a quick graphic that showed all.

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/16/env...nstates_2.html
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  54. #53  
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    [quote="mitchellmckain"]Inow's mathematical approach would be a little more honest than your selective drawing of lines skinwalker.

    I was trying to keep it simple and avoid the math for the sake of the person I quoted. If the correlations don't jump out at him (or you) then its a matter of a head-in-the-sand syndrome.

    But if you want numbers, all 16 of the states on the right are within the 30 "least importance" states on the left, including Maryland and New Jersey. All of them. None are members of the states at the top of the list where those polled said religion was most important.

    One of the anomalies you avoided was Maryland and it explains a lot because that is the Catholic state.
    There are other states with a large RC population. I'm eager to read your explanation.

    There will always be outliers when looking at statistical surveys like this. But its the trends that emerge are important for developing research questions.

    The correlations themselves say nothing about causation. It might be that states where less importance is placed on religion happen to be states that are economically stable and advantaged (health care, taxes, jobs, etc.) and states where most emphasis is placed on religion happen to be less advantaged economically and more unstable. Such states would also prioritize the environment much lower, since it would be important first to be in a position to do something constructive.
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