Mocking religion

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Dec 28, 2021 11:57 am

Imrael wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:46 am
OTOH, I don't know any religious theoretical cosmologists that strongly believe in their religion's cosmogony. And that "strongly believe in <specific tenets>" distinction is necessary, because there are plenty of people that observe a religion without believing all of the dogma and tenets of that religion. Most people are fully capable of compartmentalizing religious beliefs, political beliefs and scientific thoughts, without even thinking about the tensions between them. And much personal religious thinking is more about "contemplate the mysteries" than "this is what happened".
I thought this was called the "2 magesterium" approach, but casual googling suggests otherwise. Basically says religion and science are about different topics/domains and there isnt really a clash. Attempts to insert religion into science ( as opposed to scientists) get you Intelligent Design, attempts to insert science into religion get you - dunno - Descartes wager?
I think you're thinking of this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overl ... magisteria

And yeah, I suspect the vast majority of religious scientists aren't working on scientific problems with any direct, problematic relation to the parts of their religion's dogma they take seriously.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Trinucleus » Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:01 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 11:57 am
Imrael wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:46 am
OTOH, I don't know any religious theoretical cosmologists that strongly believe in their religion's cosmogony. And that "strongly believe in <specific tenets>" distinction is necessary, because there are plenty of people that observe a religion without believing all of the dogma and tenets of that religion. Most people are fully capable of compartmentalizing religious beliefs, political beliefs and scientific thoughts, without even thinking about the tensions between them. And much personal religious thinking is more about "contemplate the mysteries" than "this is what happened".
I thought this was called the "2 magesterium" approach, but casual googling suggests otherwise. Basically says religion and science are about different topics/domains and there isnt really a clash. Attempts to insert religion into science ( as opposed to scientists) get you Intelligent Design, attempts to insert science into religion get you - dunno - Descartes wager?
I think you're thinking of this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overl ... magisteria

And yeah, I suspect the vast majority of religious scientists aren't working on scientific problems with any direct, problematic relation to the parts of their religion's dogma they take seriously.
There was a programme some years ago where they interviewed people working in the Vatican Observatory. They said that the bible is about how you live your life, it isn't a science book, so they viewd Genesis as a story that they didn't take as truth

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by IvanV » Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:58 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:01 pm
There was a programme some years ago where they interviewed people working in the Vatican Observatory. They said that the bible is about how you live your life, it isn't a science book, so they viewd Genesis as a story that they didn't take as truth
Most mainstream Christians aren't creationists, let alone young earth creationists. What is interesting is how even some young-earth creationists succeed in accommodating sciences such as geology.

I watched a TV programme a while ago where they interviewed some students from a creationist university in the US. They had turned up at a Grand Canyon visitor centre, and said they were on a geology field trip. The students explained that the events described in geology timelines happened in "The Devil's Time". With that adjustment, they were content with mainstream geology.

It made me laugh.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by dyqik » Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:16 pm

Imrael wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:46 am
OTOH, I don't know any religious theoretical cosmologists that strongly believe in their religion's cosmogony. And that "strongly believe in <specific tenets>" distinction is necessary, because there are plenty of people that observe a religion without believing all of the dogma and tenets of that religion. Most people are fully capable of compartmentalizing religious beliefs, political beliefs and scientific thoughts, without even thinking about the tensions between them. And much personal religious thinking is more about "contemplate the mysteries" than "this is what happened".
I thought this was called the "2 magesterium" approach, but casual googling suggests otherwise. Basically says religion and science are about different topics/domains and there isnt really a clash. Attempts to insert religion into science ( as opposed to scientists) get you Intelligent Design, attempts to insert science into religion get you - dunno - Descartes wager?
I don't mean trying to directly justify it with something like the two magisterium approach. I just mean not thinking about them in the same thought.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by monkey » Tue Dec 28, 2021 5:06 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:58 pm
Trinucleus wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:01 pm
There was a programme some years ago where they interviewed people working in the Vatican Observatory. They said that the bible is about how you live your life, it isn't a science book, so they viewd Genesis as a story that they didn't take as truth
Most mainstream Christians aren't creationists...
I've always the impression that they were, in the sense that "God did it" but are happy with the big bang/evolution being the method, if they have ever given it much thought. (I know that definitions of creationism can vary though, so we both might be right :) ).

More generally on the topic, I think the Catholic church's position on it is fairly ambiguous, IIRC. Think it's along the lines of Genesis contains things that are True, such as God made stuff, original sin is a thing, etc., but leave it up to the individual to decide whether or not to take things literally or not - so neither literal or not literal is wrong in the eyes of The Church, as long as you believe the important bits like God gave everyone a soul. It's easy to see this as a fudge, but it allows for Catholics to be proper biologists and cosmologists without contradiction, as far as I can tell.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by IvanV » Tue Dec 28, 2021 5:40 pm

monkey wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 5:06 pm
More generally on the topic, I think the Catholic church's position on it is fairly ambiguous, IIRC. Think it's along the lines of Genesis contains things that are True, such as God made stuff, original sin is a thing, etc., but leave it up to the individual to decide whether or not to take things literally or not - so neither literal or not literal is wrong in the eyes of The Church, as long as you believe the important bits like God gave everyone a soul. It's easy to see this as a fudge, but it allows for Catholics to be proper biologists and cosmologists without contradiction, as far as I can tell.
It is sensible to have an ambiguous position on the literal interpretation of a text that is full of contradictions, much that is not in accordance with typical Christian beliefs, and moreover has more variant readings in its multiple hand-written sources than there are words in the book. The Catholic church has tended to say that the Vulgate, an early translation into Latin, is the definitive version. Though it has been difficult to maintain it as such when the Greek and Hebrew sources available to us conflict with it so much, and the deficiencies of the Vulgate are now so well recorded.

The Catholic church has tended to insist as doctrine on things that are not even in the bible, or are rather debatable interpretations of it. This is according to the idea that the Catholic church is the reliable possessor of the "tradition" of the church, which is the prime definition of its doctrine rather than only the word of scripture. It was Rome's insistence that it was uniquely correct in doctrine that led to the Great Schism from what we now call the Orthodox churches, at a time when the eastern churches were rather more geopolitically important than they are today. It is ironic that the Catholic church is apparently happy not to be "Orthodox", which means "right belief". Scripture was kept from ordinary people for much of the history of the Catholic church, by keeping it in Latin, lest those not sufficiently educated to understand it properly should misinterpret it, ha ha. It was people who could understand what the Bible actually said, and wanted the ordinary people to understand it, and who also identified Rome as corrupt and self-interested, who drove the Reformation.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:04 pm

Traditions are stupid
“Ignorance of the elementary laws of physics and disregard for safety rules have led to irreparable losses,” the emergencies services said, describing the incident as a “terrible mistake”.

Three people - including two patients - were killed. Four other people were treated for severe burns.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by purplehaze » Wed Dec 29, 2021 5:02 pm

I'm in my 60s and have always known that the USA is more religious than any other western society. Religion has always been attributed to income inequality and poverty.

I'm all for mocking a political system that clearly doesn't work. Religion is personal but also political.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... y-nations/

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:50 pm

This is the worst line of best fit I've ever seen.
PF.06.13.18_religiouscommitment-01-04-.png
PF.06.13.18_religiouscommitment-01-04-.png (126.31 KiB) Viewed 652 times
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by dyqik » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:21 pm

There probably is a correlation with a positive slope in there, but I wouldn't have put it where that line is by eye - I'd have drawn it much steeper, suggesting that there's a weaker correlation.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by monkey » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:25 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:50 pm
This is the worst line of best fit I've ever seen.
You never seen the laffer curve fit?

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by tenchboy » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:37 pm

The best fit line to that group of dots is probably a question mark.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:46 pm

I'm assuming that line is some kind of average ignoring offsets for the different geographical regions or something?

But even eyeballing in quadrants based on the median of each axis shows the general pattern that religious-unequal and irreligious-equal are commoner than the other options, I think.

I'd be surprised if religion is driving that relationship, though - more likely both are consequences of other underlying phenomena. History of European colonisation seems a key driver of inequality (with Europeans' descendents generally being less equal than others), whereas technological development seems linked to less religiousness. So the two more populated quadrants are basically the extracters vs extractees of global capital.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:48 pm

Also interesting how very religious Muslim countries seem much more equal than very religious Christian ones.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Gfamily » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:49 pm

Does it claim to mean anything?
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:15 am

nezumi wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:59 pm
I would like to massively oversimplify the issue in the same way I did when I was 8. I haven't thought about it an awful lot since then as I quickly did an overview of the literature* and came up with Nezumi's Principle** - "If it sounds like wishful thinking. It is."

When I think about it that way, it's no longer about mocking religion, it's about being compassionate to people who feel the need to think wishfully.
Compassion for people is great, but if the beliefs are that non-white people, women, non-heterosexual people etc are inferior, worth less, and should be ignored, then the beliefs have to be attacked and defeated.

Some people might take comfort in the idea that they will eventually be reunited with their dead friend or relative, but if their belief moves from a vague, abstract thing to something sufficiently concrete that it causes them to kill themselves to make the meeting happen now, then it's clear;ly harmful - though there may not be much that can be done without undermining the comfort for the vas majority of believers.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:44 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:46 pm
I'm assuming that line is some kind of average ignoring offsets for the different geographical regions or something?

But even eyeballing in quadrants based on the median of each axis shows the general pattern that religious-unequal and irreligious-equal are commoner than the other options, I think.

I'd be surprised if religion is driving that relationship, though - more likely both are consequences of other underlying phenomena. History of European colonisation seems a key driver of inequality (with Europeans' descendents generally being less equal than others), whereas technological development seems linked to less religiousness. So the two more populated quadrants are basically the extracters vs extractees of global capital.
It reports "% who say religion is very important in their lives" as a metric for how religious a country is, on the y-axis. I mean, you could have a country at the bottom because only a small percentage say that, but everyone else says it's "fairly important" or whatever. And then you could have a country further up near the middle in which the other half of the population are completely atheist.

"Always visualization your data" in this case would mean to plot the histogram of religious importance for the population of each country rather than reduce it to a single sharp point.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:55 pm

You could, yeah. I'd be surprised if some effect like that meant that the order of the y axis wasn't measuring something akin to "religiousness", but we don't have the underlying data.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:02 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:44 pm
It reports "% who say religion is very important in their lives" as a metric for how religious a country is, on the y-axis.
But what does that mean? If you need an abortion but they're banned due to religious voters, is religion very important in your life? What about if you're gay and cannot marry for the same reason. A country could be religious in the sense that laws are religiously motivated, yet there's a high proportion of atheists, and another country could have many people who follow a liberal and tolerant religion so it has less infliuence on non- believers.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by nekomatic » Fri Dec 31, 2021 5:19 pm

It’s almost as if religion were a complex phenomenon with many subtleties rather than a one-dimensional concept.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by IvanV » Sun Jan 02, 2022 6:07 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:48 pm
Also interesting how very religious Muslim countries seem much more equal than very religious Christian ones.
Simply due to maths, its difficult for very poor countries to be very unequal. This is because there is, approximately speaking, a minimum income for human survival. So very poor countries tend to have a lot of people close to the edge of survival, and hence a narrow range of income for a large fraction of the population. When a country gets a bit richer, there's room for a more significant number of higher income people who can increase the inequality. The most unequal SSA countries it names - South Africa, Botswana - are also among the wealthiest.

So it is possible that what you are observing is that the list of very poor countries include quite a lot of muslim countries. The very religious Muslim countries tend to limit female education and economic participation more than others, which is a factor that makes them poorer. But we could do with we a few more named datapoints. I had a look at the source and was unlucky.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by IvanV » Sun Jan 02, 2022 6:26 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:02 am
shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:44 pm
It reports "% who say religion is very important in their lives" as a metric for how religious a country is, on the y-axis.
But what does that mean? If you need an abortion but they're banned due to religious voters, is religion very important in your life? What about if you're gay and cannot marry for the same reason. A country could be religious in the sense that laws are religiously motivated, yet there's a high proportion of atheists, and another country could have many people who follow a liberal and tolerant religion so it has less infliuence on non- believers.
I observe that Bangladesh scores 80% on the religiosity index, slightly higher than Iran (around 78%). But clearly the nature of religion in Iran affects daily life to a much greater extent than Bangladesh, which is generally considered an "Islam-lite" country. So it's important to a lot of people, but it's less of a big issue in their lives. Religious enforcement is also an issue - there is a lot of that in Iran. Similarly we see Pakistan and Indonesia on a simlar level in the low 90s. But a similar comment applies - Indonesia is generally understood as more "Islam-lite" than Pakistan - with some exceptions like Aceh. And religious enforcement is generally stronger in Pakistan.

So many people can be religious, but it probably matters to economic outcomes what kind of a religion they believe in, and the extent to which there is enforcement.

I don't believe the very low religiosity score for China: people just daren't admit to it, or else have redefined their religious practices as cultural practices.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by monkey » Sun Jan 02, 2022 6:44 pm

IvanV wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 6:26 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:02 am
shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:44 pm
It reports "% who say religion is very important in their lives" as a metric for how religious a country is, on the y-axis.
But what does that mean? If you need an abortion but they're banned due to religious voters, is religion very important in your life? What about if you're gay and cannot marry for the same reason. A country could be religious in the sense that laws are religiously motivated, yet there's a high proportion of atheists, and another country could have many people who follow a liberal and tolerant religion so it has less infliuence on non- believers.
I observe that Bangladesh scores 80% on the religiosity index, slightly higher than Iran (around 78%). But clearly the nature of religion in Iran affects daily life to a much greater extent than Bangladesh, which is generally considered an "Islam-lite" country. So it's important to a lot of people, but it's less of a big issue in their lives. Religious enforcement is also an issue - there is a lot of that in Iran. Similarly we see Pakistan and Indonesia on a simlar level in the low 90s. But a similar comment applies - Indonesia is generally understood as more "Islam-lite" than Pakistan - with some exceptions like Aceh. And religious enforcement is generally stronger in Pakistan.

So many people can be religious, but it probably matters to economic outcomes what kind of a religion they believe in, and the extent to which there is enforcement.

I don't believe the very low religiosity score for China: people just daren't admit to it, or else have redefined their religious practices as cultural practices.
The opposite is probably true in many countries where religion is used to oppress, whether that is through society or state, or both.

Basically, I would not be surprised if China has more religionists, as you say, but also that Iran, etc. has fewer.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by bob sterman » Sun Jan 02, 2022 10:10 pm

IvanV wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 6:07 pm
Simply due to maths, its difficult for very poor countries to be very unequal.
Errr..not that difficult, some GINI values...

From the dozen most unequal countries in the world...

Namibia 59.1
Central African Republic 56.2
Angola 51.3

From the dozen most equal countries...

Iceland 26.1
Belgium 27.2
United Arab Emirates 26.0

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Grumble » Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:54 am

Trinucleus wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:01 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 11:57 am
Imrael wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:46 am


I thought this was called the "2 magesterium" approach, but casual googling suggests otherwise. Basically says religion and science are about different topics/domains and there isnt really a clash. Attempts to insert religion into science ( as opposed to scientists) get you Intelligent Design, attempts to insert science into religion get you - dunno - Descartes wager?
I think you're thinking of this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overl ... magisteria

And yeah, I suspect the vast majority of religious scientists aren't working on scientific problems with any direct, problematic relation to the parts of their religion's dogma they take seriously.
There was a programme some years ago where they interviewed people working in the Vatican Observatory. They said that the bible is about how you live your life, it isn't a science book, so they viewd Genesis as a story that they didn't take as truth
Catholics generally view the bible as poetic guidance rather than absolute truth, it’s Protestants who take it literally. (Large amounts of hand-waving.)
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