Friday, May 27, 2011

Predictions that Religion Will Become Extinct in Some Countires


Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations

The study is done by the American Physical Society, an organization of physicists. why would they be studying religion? Perhaps its to analyze their statitsical model which enables one to analyze things with a huge data base:

Their means of analysing the data invokes what is known as nonlinear dynamics - a mathematical approach that has been used to explain a wide range of physical phenomena in which a number of factors play a part.

One of the team, Daniel Abrams of Northwestern University, put forth a similar model in 2003 to put a numerical basis behind the decline of lesser-spoken world languages.

That would explain their interest in the topic, but it still doesn't' guarantee results. What are the nations in question:

The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

The assumption is that there is a utility or a status in taking part in some socially advantageous activity rather than one that is not as useful or that doesn't garner enough status. There's more utility in speaking Spanish in Peru rather than a dying Native language.

"For example in languages, there can be greater utility or status in speaking Spanish instead of [the dying language] Quechuan in Peru, and similarly there's some kind of status or utility in being a member of a religion or not."
Dr Wiener continued: "In a large number of modern secular democracies, there's been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%."
My friend Tiny Thinker, who is a professional anthropologist and runs the Peaceful Turmoil Blog has discussed this study and shows the fallacies and flaws. His take on it I urge the reader to consult and take seroiusly. Tiny is one of the most brilliant people I've known.

But here are my ramblings on the subject:

There's always a conceptual flaw in every study. We find that while they do documented through a study at Cornell that the social dynamics of the countries named are similar to each other, that does NOT prove that they are similar to the societies where the dying language dynamic is studied. Declining religion and declining religion may be two different things. This reality is reflected in statements by the researchers themselves:

However, Dr Wiener told the conference that the team was working to update the model with a "network structure" more representative of the one at work in the world.

"Obviously we don't really believe this is the network structure of a modern society, where each person is influenced equally by all the other people in society," he said.

However, he told BBC News that he thought it was "a suggestive result".

In other words people in modern industrial societies are more indpdent and less dependent upon immediate traditional support than natives in South America. So the stakes of belief in religion in modern industrialized West are different than those of speaking a language in a third world country. There are a lot of other things they are not taking into account too.

First of all they need to prove that the non affiliated status is really equal to "non religious" status. All they are really saying is that they equate belief with membership. That is a false assumption. The most this study can prove is that the lines of affiliation are shifting, it doesn't and can't demonstrate that actual belief in God will go extinct in these nine countries. The most it shows is that traditional churches may fail.

There is a very useful study we need to know about, that tells us some things germiane to this issue: The Demand for Religion:Hard Core Atheism and "Supply Side" Theory by Wolfgang Jagodzinski, University of Cologne, Andrew Greeley,University of Chicago and University of Arizona.

This study shows that Northern Europe is still more religious than social scientists have given it credit or. It's true objective is to disprove the theory of supply side economics as applied to religious believe, but in executing that goal there is some data would should interest us. At this point I'll refer to this new study as "Greeley." I'll refer to the original study as the APS study.

Norway is not as religious a country as Ireland (many of whose citizens are distant relatives of the Norse). However, religion persists in Norway. Moreover, the recent research on the social history of religion in the middle ages raises serious questions about how religious any country in Europe was in ages past. Perhaps Norwegians are less devout than they used to be, but that fact remains to be proven. Hence it remains to be proven that there is not a religious demand in Norway to which the religious supply has failed to respond.
That is interesting because Norway, being Scandinavian, is supposed to be totally secular and religion on the way out. It's not as religouis as Ireland, Ireleand is ond the countries in the APS study. That means Norway should be almost bereft of religion by now but Greeley names the section on Norway "the failure of secularism" and says it's, though not as religious as Ireland still plenty religious. That would seem to suggest that religion is in even better shape in the more religious Ireland.


The religious picture of Norway which appears in these three tables indicates that the portrait of the country as being in the final stages of a secularization process is, to say the least, much too simple. Even the "social differentiation" dimension of the secularization theory is hardly compatible with the financial contributions all groups make to church organizations. Religion has not disappeared from the public or private lives of Norwegians. There are traces of religion to be found among both the Atheists and Agnostics and strong residues of religion among the Marginals. The differentiation between the Devout and the Private is what one might expect in a society where there is a lazy monopoly and no great effort to reclaim to the Private to say nothing of the Marginal.

Are the Norwegians religious? Thirty seven percent of them say they are, while only 16% say that they are not; the rest equivocate by saying that they are neither religious nor non-religious. Seventeen percent of the Marginal and 53% of the private assert that they are religious. To assert that such a country is thoroughly secularized is to deprive the word of all meaning.

here is what Greeley says about Ireland:

Unfortunately for the efforts of those to apply the "supply side" perspective in Europe, there are few countries in which an open religious market place exists. Germany is a duopoly, the Netherlands a collapsing triopoly. However, Ireland is an excellent natural laboratory for testing the perspective. Ireland (the twenty six counties in the South) is a de facto Catholic monopoly while northern Ireland is a fiercely competitive market place in which Protestants and Catholics compete, not infrequently inn the streets. While both Catholics and Protestants in Ireland are devout, the supply side theory would predict that Catholics in the North would be more devout and more orthodox than Catholics in the South.

In fact the data in Table 9 do not force us to reject this hypothesis derived from supply side theory. Northern Catholics are notably more likely to be believe in God, the Devil, life after death, heaven and hell. They are also more likely to attend mass regularly and to reject extramarital sex and homosexual behavior. It seems probable that in the absence of competition on the southern counties, Catholicism has lost something of the "edge" it once had in both orthodoxy and devotion while in the competitive northern counties, the orthodoxy and devotional levels have been only slightly affected, if at all.

Doesn't really seem like a place where religion is dying out. Over all they find that Northern Europe is still very religious and atheism is very soft core. Hard core defined as answering "I do not believe in God" and "there is definitely no after life." the questions:

  1. I don’t believe in God
  2. I don’t know whether there is a God and I don’t believe there is any way to find out.
  3. I don’t believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a higher Power of some kind.
  4. find myself believing in God some of the time but not at others.
  5. While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God.
  6. I know God really exists and I have no doubt about it.


Do You believe in life after death?

  1. Yes, definitely
  2. Yes, probably
  3. No, probably not
  4. No, definitely not

Soft care atheists defined as rejecting God but not after life.

  1. The proportion of Hard Core atheists is relatively small in all the countries except East Germany (42.7%)
  2. The proportion is above 10% only in former socialist countries (12.4% in Russia, 13.9% in Slovenia, and 11.3% in Hungary) and in the Netherlands (11.4%) and in Israel (12.1%).
  3. In the other eleven countries, the highest rates of Hard Core atheism are in Norway (6.7%) and Britain (6.3%). Thus if latent demand for religion is excluded only from the Hard Core atheists, there is still the possibility of a large clientele for those firms which might venture into the religious market place in such supposedly "secularized" countries as Norway and Britain.
  4. There are not all that many Hard Core atheists in the countries studied, nor indeed all that many soft core atheists either.
  5. The "Softest Core" Atheists are less than a third of the population in every country except East Germany. They are more than a fifth of the population only in four former Socialist countries – East German Russia, Hungary and Slovenia. With the exception than of East Germany more than two thirds of the population of the countries studied are willing to admit the existence in some fashion of God and the likelihood of life after death. Devout many of them may not be but on the two central issues they are more religious than not. They then may be considered as part of the religious market place if not always enthusiastic consumers.

Furthermore in the sample as a whole, Hard Core atheism correlates only with gender (women less likely to be atheists) and not with education or age (those favorite measures of the more naïve of the "secularization theorists.") 83% of the Hard Core Atheists say they never believed in God, 61% say they never attended church services when they were eleven or twelve years old and 9% more say they only rarely attended. The choice of Hard Core atheism as a philosophy of life was apparently made at a very young age in life and is sustained through the life course.

Age correlates significantly with Hard Core atheism only in Britain (r=-.08), East Germany (r=-.18), the Netherlands (r=-.05) and Israel (r=+.08), Hungary (-.14). Education correlates significantly with Hard Core Atheism only in Hungary (r=.11), Slovenia (r=.18), and Norway (r=.10) West Germany (r=.08), Israel (r=.10). In these countries as in the whole sample, there is an inverted U curve in the relationship between age and atheism, the very young and the very old being somewhat less likely to be atheists. In the middle years of life, however, the line representing atheism is flat. Only in Slovenia and Hungary is education still a significant correlate of Hard Core Atheism in a regression equation which includes age and gender.

In the United States, Northern Ireland, Austria and Poland, the countries with the lowest scores for atheism, there is no correlation with gender.

Table 2 demonstrates that Hard Core atheists in the countries where they are most numerous have been for the most part atheists since childhood. Everywhere but Great Britain, West Germany, and Norway, four out of five assert that they never believed in God. Only in Britain did the majority say that they went to church more than rarely. In East Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, and Russia more than seven out of ten went to church only on rare occasions.

That includes two of the counters in the APS study. This certainly should give us pause to consider the fallacies of that study. The sense of religion fading away is strongest in the Scandinavian countries. We have seen that Norway is still religious, now we find that Sweden is as well.

Sep 1, 2006
Are Swedes losing their religion?
by: Charlotte Celsing, freelance writer

Annika Gustafsson is a theology student whose studies have included work experience in congregations and at confirmation camps. She says that almost all of the young people she meets are open to questions relating to religious and spiritual matters, even though they may have objections to ecclesiastical matters.

The role of religion has changed

Religion has not become less important in Swedish society but it has changed color, according to a report from Åbo Academy (Finland). In the secularized Nordic area the Protestant Lutheran church has to be liberal and open to a modern interpretation of the Christian message. Otherwise the church feels too authoritarian – an attitude that most Swedes do not accept....Yet many Swedes express a longing for a spiritual dimension and a deeper meaning. Modern society has left a void that neither science nor a high material standard can fill....Those who the Church of Sweden fails to attract look for alternatives. Non-conformist churches – of which the Pentecostal Movement is the largest with around 87,000 members – is one example. Others are varieties of eastern religions, such as Buddhism or Hinduism.

Due to immigration to Sweden, Islam is now the country’s second largest religion after Christianity. A number of mosques have already been built in different parts of Sweden and more are planned.

Within Christianity the Catholic Church in Sweden is also large. Today it has a total of 80,500 registered members.

* Almost 8 out of 10 Swedes are members of the Church of Sweden - 7 million.
* Only 1 in 10 Swedes thinks religion is important in daily life.
* Around 7 out of 10 children are christened in the Church of Sweden.
* Just over 5 out of 10 weddings take place in church.
* Almost 9 out of 10 Swedes have Christian burials.
* Islam has around 130,000 adherents in Sweden (more according to Muslim

If the countries of Northern Europe are holding on to faith in many aspects, though the standard image is that its all but gone, the findings pertaining to more religous countries like Ireland are probalby wrong.

On CARM an atheist used this study to argue that all religions going to die out. This is another example of the stupidity of atheists, their dishonesty and their inability to understand what they read. He extrapolates form nine nations to all of it dying out becuase that's what he hopes for. So typical of the to ignore the details.

Atheist Use of Black is White Slide


Here's a bad habit I see atheists doing a lot. I don't want to point out who did this because I don't want that person to think I'm just trying to insult him, but it someone on this baord today who did this.

I go "you can't say X,Y,Z about Christianity belief because you missing whatever, historical tradition, theological stuff, ect.

He goes I don't need to read that because I know that Mormonism is stupid and I don't need to read about it. so therefore, this other thing I don't about must be stupid too so I don't need to read about it either.

The reason why one needs to know theology before criticizing religion is not necessary to know what evdience supports it's truth but just to know if the statements being made really reflect the belief of the tradition.

One example I think of is this really stupid guy I was arguing with on his blog. He said that "Christians believe that God is a big man in the sky." I said no not all Christians believe that, I named a few theological tendencies that got passed that like Tillich and process theology. He goes "You are a liar! they do do that's just a lie." I said if you knew theology you would know how wrong you are. So he asserts "I don't have to know theology because its' stupid to believe in God so nothing in theology is worth crap."

the point is he's wrong about what he said about all Christians believing God is a big man in the sky, if he knew theology,even if they still thought it was carp, he would at least know that process theology is famous for noting thing of God as a man. they don't even think god is personal.

Instead he says "that can't be true, just don't' confuse me with the facts!"

in the first example that's just guilt by association.

[B](1) I can know Mormonism is stupid without knowing what it says" [/B]that's just dumb. that's like saying I judge a book by its cover.

All of these things are the result of the decline in education since the Regan era.

(2) the to assume If I know X is stupid without knowing what it says I can know that more orthodox forms of Christianity are stupid too with knowing what they say because of some similarity that I find bewteen the two: that is actually two fallacies in one.

(a) it's guilt by association

(b) also the black is white slide.

black is white slide says "two things that totally dissimilar are the same thing because they share one point in common."

All based upon the fallacious idea that "don't confuse me with the facts," I can know stuff without knowing about it.

that's just anti-intellectual drivel.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stupid Atheist Tricks no. 5,207

This CARM genius calling himself MFFJM2

Just about one of the stupiest people I've ever seen:

set up. thread title: Theists and Intelligent life on Other Planets

Pay off:

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
If they find intelligent life on another planet it would be a great shock. We have never found any on this planet.
The genius observes:


Should the deeply held beliefs of creationists be shattered by events such as you describe, which would be too obvious to contradict or ignore, they would either convert to some other lesser known cult, or they'd kill themselves en masse. This is why you get remarks like that of Metacrock or Kent Hovind, because in the event that your hypothesis should prove true, everything they believe in would come crashing down around them. The cognitive dissonance would be too much.

I respond

you think I'm a creationist when I talk about Paul Tillich and God is being itself and process theology. That's about as intelligent as saying that Obama is in the tea party or that the Tea party is for socialism.

In fact that is literally the case. Tillich was a socialist and most creationists are right wing and probalby close to tea party. So what you are saying is as knowledgeable as calling Obama a tea party guy.

You're no liberal. You used the exact same words as Kent Hovinnd, whether you knew it or not. The remark you made was meant to dismiss the OP. It didn't work.
I didn't write that you were a creationist, possibly a problem with your reading ability. I wrote directly to the remarks that you echoed from Kent Hovind. The fact that you have mentioned Paul Tillich doesn't change the fact that you have responded on numerous occasions with fundamentalist remarks. If you don't want to be painted as a fundamentalist, perhaps you shouldn't stand so close to those who are.

that is so stupid! only someone with a really limited cultural knowledge would say that. that is an obvious joke that is based upon a Lilly Tomlin line. It's not an ideological position and it can't be thought of as any kind of proof that one is a liberal or a conservative. So Hovind and I both have heard of Tomlin, big deal.

that is the kind of cultural illiteracy that marks kids born in and after the Regan era.

First of all it's stupid to say that "I didn't say you were a creationist" you are only accusing me of being like a rampant creationist who is notorious for his creationism so obviously that the implication. Secondly you don't know what liberalism is and you wouldn't know a liberal from a conservative if the difference bit you in the ***
Accusing someone of saying something "like what they would say" is guilt by association.

Fortunate there some smart atheists around.
Bust Nack says:
I think you are reading too much into a joke from Meta.
What can one say?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Atheist Confirmation bias in action



They assert that documents were destroyed in the canonizing process. I ask for documentation they give only conjecture (it must have hapepned because Christians are evil and mean). I say that is only conjecture.

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
your argument is one form conjecture and prejudice. you have no historical evidence to back it up. If it has happened there would be someone somewhere in that era writing about it.

Well, no - there are lots of historical events that go completely unrecorded and I'm sure there were lots of documents destroyed by the church where no one has recorded the event.
However, you are right - there is no historical evidence that we know of. While people want to believe it, since it seems that the church at the time was fully capable of such atrocities to history, wanting to believe it doesn't make it true.

He did actually assert that the historical (he means naturalistic) parts of John might have history in them. KCD says "prove it." he says:

Originally Posted by cottreau View Post
I'm just quoting Robin Lane Fox, a Greek speaking/writing, Oxford classics scholar from the same book I mentioned in the last post ("The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible"). Fox is an atheist as well, so I consider it meaningful.

2nd party is us, the reader (with any document, the 1st party is the writer, 2nd party is the reader). 3rd parties would be Roman and Jewish texts from the time. "factual" about neutral historical events and procedures, the number of pillars in a specific building, how people were crucified and buried, wrapped in a shroud and various other trivial facts. They are all correct in John, but vary in the other gospels according to Fox.

Fox can't speak to the miracles of course, but as a historical, eye witness document, John is the best of the 4 gospels.
That proves your confirmation bias right here. you are so biased you automatically discount any evidence except from an atheist. that is brain washing. because you wont get anything form an atheist but atheism.

all you are saying is 'I refuse to consider the fact, just confirm want I want to believe." He says he considers it meaningful because he's an atheist, that means he doesn't consider it meaningful if it's by a Christian or some kind of believer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Athiest Propaganda on Deafault Assumption

Austin Cline

On Metacrock's Blog I have demonstrated certain studies show that religion is innate. The evdience is pretty strong for an innate religious sense. This blows away the use of the "default" that atheists try to employ,the mistaken notion that we "are all born atheists." Let's look at some illogical to uses atheists make of this assumption.

Austin Cline on Atheist Default

Do infants and very young children qualify as atheists? Most atheists will say so, working from the definition of atheism as “lacking belief in gods.” Theists tend to reject this definition, even if they don’t use the narrow definition of atheism as “denial of gods.” Why? If infants lack belief in the existence of gods, they can’t be theists - so why not atheists?
The evidence is huge that religious instinct is innate. Religion is not something that has to be trained into a child. The particular tradition and doctrines do but not the basic concept.

He goes on to quote:

In Atheism: The Case Against God, George Smith writes:

Upon close examination, it is likely that the objections to calling the uninformed child an atheist will stem from the assumption that atheism entails some degree of moral degeneracy. How dare I call innocent children atheists! Surely it is unfair to degrade them in this manner.

If the religionist is bothered by the moral implications of calling the uninformed child an atheist, the fault lies with these moral implications, not with the definition of atheism. Recognizing this child as an atheist is a major step in removing the moral stigma attached to atheism, because it forces the theist to either abandon his stereotypes of atheism or to extend them where they are patently absurd.
This is sheer lunacy. Not only are kids bron with innate senes of God or some "higher power" but they are not cognitively developed to the extent that they can actually doubt anything. They are no fits judges of God' existence either way. Calling them atheist is calling them communists. Can you say a baby is born a communist? That woudl be unethical if one labeled an infant with some tag phrase an opposition political group, or even his own. This is such obviously totalitarian thinking.

Yes here we have the dirty little secret guys like Cline want to keep under wraps, their movement is totalitarian.

several erroneous ideas on yahoo answers

These things are so silly because they just get anyone to answer. You ask "is chicken skin good for a dog" half the people who never owned a dog and know nothing about nutrition will say 'yes it's great."

Invisible talker says:

Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. As such it is the default position since when faced with a truth-claim the logical default is not to believe it.

Some atheists might go farther and believe there are no gods, but that is in excess of not believing in them. Thus the most inclusive definition of atheism, not believing in any gods, is the best IMHO.
Confronted with a truth claim "the logical appraoch" is the default to not believe, why is that logical? I confront you with the truth claim "It is wrong to kill" Is that something you feel is only logical to doubt as an automatic position? why?

Acid Zebra

Lack of belief in godS. godSSSSSSSSSSS.

What is it with religious people and ignoring the ~3700 other god-notions in these type of arguments? "God". Seriously.

It is what happens when someone tells you about all these gods and you think "what nonsense, are these warm fuzzy feelings and this old book of myth all you got?". You've considered the claim, and rejected it. It isn't a belief in itself as much as your lack of belief in leprechauns or schnnztlypops isn't a belief.

This statement makes no sense at all. He's talking about "You've considered the claim, and rejected it" that's not a default. He thinks plurality of God concepts cancel each other out which also makes no sense. It's much more logical to assume that people can mistaken in their ideas of God but still be right about the thing in general.


Delusions have to be instilled. The default assumption with no cultural indoctrination or peer pressure would be reality: atheism. Or, to phrase it more as you did, neither a "belief that X" nor a "lack of belief that X," but simply the absence of fantastical notions of deities.

Of course this guys' statement is ignorant hateful stupidity. It's disproved by teh innate religous instinct argumetn. Since it's not intellied it can't be called "delusion" The use of that term is just a point of Orwellian atheism where they change the meaning of the word to fit their propaganda. Whatever disagrees with my propaganda is insanity. That's about as Totalitarian as you can get. The KGB would be proud of them.


Mankind is over two MILLION years old and Christianity just two thousand years old so it is definitely the default!
That's typical of them to assume Christianity is the really only religion. They are really just reactionaries against Christianity. They don't care about Rege or Janism or Shinto they are not out to stop Kamies in Shinto. Humanity has had some from of religious instinct all along. The Neanderthals had it (see link to Metacrock's blog at the top).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mocking ridicling hate site is still around

The Hidden Atheist

No analysis. just one little aphoristic hate statement after another. One that shows someone saying something he doesn't like on a video and a slogan "more stupid Christians." A priest and it says "Father knows best how to doge questions." really heavy duty intellectual stuff. Science V Religion it's really simple, and they show pictures of faith healers and crippled people. no analysis.

We know this sort of thing is the atheist template at work. The guy tells us up front why he's filled with hatred and why he needs to feel supiror:

This blog is about being a Atheist who sometimes has to be hidden. I was raised as a lutheran, attended private schools most of my life. One day I came to my senses and realized everything I had been taught was a lie. I came to realize the stress believing in some imaginary god was hurting me. Myths are myths if the greek gods, the egyptian gods etc etc are all myths, then why must the christian god be real? Its not it too is a myth.
We know from what we have uncovered on Atheist watch that people become atheists due to poor self esteem and negative God images. This guy felt inadvertent in his religious schools and was probably punished or rejected by people who he felt were Christians. The can't face the emiotional aspect of their rejection of God so they need to stoke their self image by comparing themselves tot hose they hate.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jesus Mythism: Fear and Lying in seeking escape from truth

Excavation of first century house in Nazareth.

The Jesus myth branch of the atheist movement is the worst in terms of lying and Hate. They are steeped in hate to the point that they actually try to deny the existence of the greatest man in human history. This is a guy whose existence no one ever questioned for 1900 years. Only in the sickness of modern alienation do people fuming with hate seek to deny his existence. The Jesus myth movement has to keep refining their propaganda becasue it's been disproved so many times they are constantly forced to remake it. I found a site is sitll beating the dead horse of the dying rising savior gods BS.

A new site I had never seen before, discovered by accident, "Jesus never" they exhibit all the typical characteristics of the group.

Melodramatic sense of mission, saving the world in a life or death struggle againt some overwhealming evil they hate. Take the mato on their masthead: "for all who would struggle against the tragedy of religion." The studies show that people who have religious expeirnces do way better in life than those who don't. So their noble cause is to struggle to destroy one of the most important and life-transforming thinks we ever found as a species one of the major things that defines us as human. It makes me wounder if they did succeed in destroying religion how long before they try to destroy art? "For all who struggle agaisnt the tragedy that is drama." Now there's a slogan to conjure with.

The sight exhibits all the usual over done statements of anger and hatred that mark the Jesus myth movement:

Do you really think it all began with a sanctimonious Jewish wonder-worker, strolling about 1st century Palestine? Prepare to be enlightened.

Why is he sanctimonious? Why is it important to point out that he's Jewish? They seem to do that. They are into all the usual lies their ilk have steeped themselves in.

Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism in the ancient world. Its emergence owed nothing to a holy carpenter. There were many Jesuses but the fable was a cultural construct.

There is no evidence of Christianity as synchronicity. That lie was put to bed in the nineteenth century century. on Doxa I show that none of the dying rising savior gods in the real myths fit the bill. I demonstrate over and over again that they lie about the mythology and that one must go to real mythological texts, and what we find there is that None of these figures are much like Jesus. The only source that say they are, are Jesus myther books.

Bruce Metzger in "Methodology in the Study of the Mystery Religions and Early Christianity" (Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish and Christian (1968), notes:
"Thus, for example, one must doubtless interpret the change in the efficacy attributed to the rite of the taurobolium. In competing with Christianity, which promised eternal life to its adherents, the cult of Cybele officially or unofficially raised the efficacy of the blood bath from twenty years to eternity "[p. 11].

"Another aspect of comparisons between the resurrection of Christ and the mythological mysteries is that the alleged parallels are quite inexact. It is an error, for example, to believe that the initiation into the mysteries of Isis, as described in Apuleius's The Golden Ass, IS comparable to Christianity. For one thing, the hero, Lucius, had to pay a fortune to undergo his initiation. And as Wagner correctly observes: "Isis does not promise the mystes immortality, but only that henceforth he shall live under her protection, and that when at length he goes down to the realm of the dead he shall adore her . . ." (op. cit., p. 112).

Most of the evidence for mythrism for example comes from after the Christian era was well underway so the narrowing could have come the other way.

But Mithraism was confined to the Roman Legion primarily, those who were stationed in Palestine to subdue the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 66-70. In fact strong evidence indicates that in this way Christianity influenced Mithraism. First, because Romans stationed in the West were sent on short tours of duty to fight the Parthians in the East, and to put down the Jewish revolt. This is where they would have encountered a Christianity whose major texts were already written, and whose major story (that of the life of Christ) was already formed.

"There is no real evidence for a Persian Cult of Mithras. The cultic and mystery aspect did not exist until after the Roman period, second century to fourth. This means that any similarities to Christianity probably come from Christianity as the Soldiers learned of it during their tours in Palestine. The Great historian of religions, Franz Cumont was able to prove that the earliest datable evidence for the cult came from the Military Garrison at Carnuntum, on the Danube River (modern Hungary). The largest Cache of Mithric artifacts comes form the area between the Danube and Ostia in Italy." (Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (Chicago: Open Court, 1903), 87ff.)

The Jesus did not exist website people have appreciably read exclusively from myther sources, they tout all the old hysterical early Jesus myth BS that has been long since disproved. One of the great old chestnuts is the idea that Nazareth did not exist.

Nazareth did not exist in the 1st century AD – the area was a burial ground of rock-cut tombs. Following a star would lead you in circles. The genealogies of Jesus are pious fiction. The 12 disciples are as fictitious as their master, invented to legitimise the claims of the early churches. The original Mary was not a virgin. That idea was borrowed from pagan goddesses.

This is a lie. It's proved demonstrable to be a lie.See my pages on Doxa about Nazareth existed in the first century. It is proved to exist by several archaeological excavations the most recent in the 1990's which definitely proved that it was inhabited in the first century. On the same page:

L. Michael White:
Professor of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin

Where did Jesus grow up and how would that have affected his world outlook?

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a village in the Galilee. Now the Galilee, by most of the traditional accounts, is always portrayed as a kind of bucolic backwater ... cherubic peasants on the hillsides. And yet, our recent archaeological discoveries have shown this not to be the case. Nazareth, itself, is a village ... a small village at that. But, it stands less than four miles from a major urban center, Sepphoris. Now, we see Jesus growing up, not in the bucolic backwater, not... in the rural outback, but rather, on the fringes of a vibrant urban life.

And what kind of a city or town was Sepphoris?

Sepphoris was founded as the capitol of the Galilee. And so, it was really invested, much like Caesarea Maritima, with all the trappings of Greek or Roman city life as a major center of political activity for that region of the country. As a result, the excavations at Sepphoris have found extensive building programs, theaters, amphitheaters, and that sort of thing, just like Caesarea.

The other statements it makes about the fictional nature of the Apostels and so on are all conjecture based on their initial false assumption. It's that they make of their most outrageous lies.

Scholars have known all this for more than 200 years but priestcraft is a highly profitable business and finances an industry of deceit to keep the show on the road. "Jesus better documented than any other ancient figure" ? Don't believe a word of it. Unlike the mythical Jesus, a real historical figure like Julius Caesar has a mass of mutually supporting evidence. In a nutshell – Nailing Jesus.

Scholars have known what for 200 years? They did the excavations that prove Nazareth was inhabited in the 30's, 50's and 90s. So obviously if there were scholars who thought it wasn't (as assertion not in evidence) they were wrong. The work to disprove that was not done 200 years ago so saying that is rather foolish. They were wrong if they even thought it but they did not have the evidence to think otherwise. Then it makes santimonious statment about "priestcraft." If you agree with them you are a scholar and if you disagree with them then you are under the sway of priestcraft. That mean evdience can ever count against their view becuase all contrary evidence must be a lie.This the way brain washing makes one think. It's not scientific and it's no logical. If nothing can ever count against your view that proves your view is propaganda rather than proving that it's true.

Then use the old BS fallacy about Cesar had more documentation so therefore Jesus was made up. That's so stupid. The leader of the world empire had more documentation than this in a backwater who was controversial and was of no interested to the world rules becuase they weren't interested in back waters. What does that prove? That's like saying Gorege Bush is better documented than the guy who did the guy who does the Jesus did not exist website. So guess that guy doesn't exist then. They are using to contradict the statement that Jesus is better document but they get the statement wrong in the first place. It's not that there are more sources for Jesus but more personal information supplied about Jesus in the sources we do have of him than in all the sources of Caesar. That's true, just becuase we have many sources telling us Cesar existed doesn't mean each source tells us more about him. It's not even an important point anyway.

Yet another statement of buffoonery:

Still holding to the idea that some sort of holy man lies behind the legend? Better check out

Godman – Gestation of a Superhero

It is intuitively satisfying to think that someone was behind the towering legend. Yet like the worship of Horus or Mithras a human life was neither necessary nor helpful. As it happens, we have an excellent witness to events in Judaea in the first half of the first century AD: Philo of Alexandria (c25 BC-47 AD). Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus or Christianity!

This is nothing but a bald faced lie. In all of this garbage they are quoting they quote no actual schoalrs only Jesus mythers. The fact is scholars say we don't have good evidence of first century, not at all. Philo was not in Jerusalem during the time of Christ's ministry he was in southern Europe. So he was not there and that's a good reason why he didn't write about Jesus.The fact remains we don't have many first century sources.

In my Doxa article overview on historical Jesus.
form JP Holding--Teckton Apologetics]

"A final consideration is that we have very little information from first-century sources to begin with. Not much has survived the test of time from A.D. 1 to today. Blaiklock has cataloged the non-Christian writings of the Roman Empire (other than those of Philo) which have survived from the first century and do not mention Jesus. These items are":

* An amateurish history of Rome by Vellius Paterculus, a retired army officer of Tiberius. It was published in 30 A.D., just when Jesus was getting started in His ministry.

* An inscription that mentions Pilate.

* Fables written by Phaedrus, a Macedonian freedman, in the 40s A.D.

* From the 50s and 60s A.D., Blaiklock tells us: "Bookends set a foot apart on this desk where I write would enclose the works from these significant years." Included are philosophical works and letters by Seneca; a poem by his nephew Lucan; a book on agriculture by Columella, a retired soldier; fragments of the novel Satyricon by Gaius Petronius; a few lines from a Roman satirist, Persius; Pliny the Elder's Historia Naturalis; fragments of a commentary on Cicero by Asconius Pedianus, and finally, a history of Alexander the Great by Quinus Curtius.

Of all these writers, only Seneca may have conceivably had reason to refer to Jesus. But considering his personal troubles with Nero, it is doubtful that he would have had the interest or the time to do any work on the subject.

* From the 70s and 80s A.D., we have some poems and epigrams by Martial, and works by Tacitus (a minor work on oratory) and Josephus (Against Apion, Wars of the Jews). None of these would have offered occasion to mention Jesus.

* From the 90s, we have a poetic work by Statius; twelve books by Quintillian on oratory; Tacitus' biography of his father-in-law Agricola, and his work on Germany. [Blaik.MM, 13-16]

"To this Meier adds [ibid., 23] that in general, knowledge of the vast majority of ancient peoples is "simply not accessible to us today by historical research and never will be." It is just as was said in his earlier comment on Alexander the Great: What we know of most ancient people as individuals could fit on just a few pieces of paper. Thus it is misguided for the skeptic to complain that we know so little about the historical Jesus, and have so little recorded about Him in ancient pagan sources. Compared to most ancient people, we know quite a lot about Jesus, and have quite a lot recorded about Him!"

So there just aren't that many overall sources to go by in the first palce. But why wouldn't more of Jesus' contempoaries write about him?

The Jesus myth mania can be taken out very easily with two points that invalidate their entire thesis. Once you know that the dying/rising savior god theory depends upon a lie about the mythical sources, then you can take up the web of deceptions. There's a true web of history and it binds together all the basic facts of eye witnesses and people who knew eye witnesses and so on. This can be proved and demonstrated through strict attention to scholarship. There are two kinds of proofs here: one deals with the actual claims of those who knew eye witnesses and the other with the overall verification of the texts. The mythers make a big deal of redaction and writing lots of texts, and they make the assumption that it's all just a made up lie. This is reflected in the Jesus did not exist website:

There are actually some 200 gospels, epistles and other ancient documents concerning the life of Jesus Christ. Writing such material was a popular literary form, particularly in the 2nd century. The pious fantasies competed with Greek romantic fiction. Political considerations in the late 2nd century led to the selection of just four approved gospels and the rejection of others.

That is invalidated by textual criticism which can be traced back and demonstrated an early version of the basic story that included the empty tomb and was circulating by AD 50. I have demonstrated eight layers of verification that textual critics have search through in tracing back to this proto Gospel story. This is a source that was circulating in writing at AD 50 0r so, and that was used and coped and became part of the four Gospels and the Gospel of Peter. That's just 18 years after the original events. These eight layers demonstrate it's not just a simple matter of one guy makes something up and starts being copied. its' show eight different tragediennes form the same era from which we find mutually reinforcing evidence flowing in terms of eye early witness. So that's the first point that destroys the Jesus myth propaganda. Their understanding of scholarship is non existent and their claims are disproved by the facts: the orignial communities that produced the gospels were the witness. The web of historicity proves that the claims of those communities are verified because they come from eight different trajectories of witness.

The second point is the witness of Celsus and what he tells us about Jesus proves that Jesus was a historical figure. Clesus tells us he got his information on the "truth" about Jesus from Jews. What he says coincides with what's in the Talmud form the early strand that goes back to the first century. These two points destroy the whole theory. The site in question is quite inferior. They have done no real research but just read a bunch of mythers stuff that confirms their prejudices and without thinking crank out a bunch of galling hateful statements.

here's the list of sources of real mythology books I used to check the real myths the way they were actually presented. You will find these are very different than the way the Jesus mythers tell them. None of the figures were crucified and one resurrected. that includes mythra. These are lies told by the Jesus myth cult. The list of sources has no Christian books. Just scholars o mythology not religious. You find Cumont who the mythers love to quote but he actually does not back up their thesis.

Conze, Edward. Buddhist Scriptures, ,Penguin:1959.:35)
Cumont, Franz. The Mysteries of Mithra. New York: Dover, 1950.
Gordon, Richard. Image and Value in the Greco-Roman World. Aldershot: Variorum, 1996.
Hamilton, Edith. Mentor edition, original copywriter 1940 Mythology, 172). See also World Book Encyclopedia, "Hercules" 1964)
Klausner, Joseph. From Jesus to Paul (New York: Macmillan, 1943), 104
Kramer, S.N. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 183 [1966],
Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies. Manchester U. Press, 1975.
La 'resurrection' d'Adonis," in Melanges Isidore Levy, 1955, pp. 207-40).
Meyer, M. (editor) The Ancient Mysteries : A Source Book , San Francisco: Harper, 1987, pp.170-171).
Robinson, Herbert Spencer. Myths and Legends of all Nations, New York: Bantum Books, 1950, 13-16
Seltman, The Twelve Olympians, New York: Thomas Y. Corwell Company, 1960.p 176).
Ulansey, David. Cosmoic Mysteries of Of Mithras (website).
________________.The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World. New York: Oxford U. Press, 1989.
World Book Encyclopedia, "Hercules" 1964

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Atheism's Psychology Today Scam


Psychology Today is a popular magazine, it's like the Time Magazine of psychology. It's not a scholarly source but I used to read it in my college library back in undergrad days ("daze" is more like it). There articles about things like are fat people insecure because they are fat are they fact they because they are insecure? Now I find a blog calling itself "Psychology Today" it seems to be related to the magazine but I have trouble believing it is. This is because almost everything in this blog is about why Atheist are better than Christians or why Christianity is untrue. Those who think atheism is not a movement need to look at this.

The Article that caught my attention is entitled "Why Atheists Are More Intelligent than the Religious." see the link above. The article that follows is the most confused and disjointed, undocumented and silly bit of pseudo science I've ever seen. Knowing the Magazine form the 70s I would expect a large dose of pseudo science dressed to mascaraed as real science. On the other hand this blog is nothing more than a cheap window dressing disguising a outlet for the evolutionary psychology fan club. Evolutionary psychology is toughed here the cutting of edge of true scenic,e while in "true scinece" evolutionary psychology at this level of fandom is defined thought of as pseudo scinece. This particular article. Their approach is like saying "we all know astrology is not scientific and ti's false and misleading, I can prove with my numerology." The author (Satoshi Kanazawa ) asserts that a bell curve view of religion and IQ. He's arguing that being atheistic is evolutionarily novel, that' why most people have been religious throughout history and are so today. He denies a gene for religion but sees it as a combination of other genetic factors (he calls "agency detector mechanisms--I have seen others call "spandrels"). He's working according to a hypothesis called "the hypothesis" and links the same article several times (actually the full name for the theory is "Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis ").

If general intelligence evolved to deal with evolutionarily novel problems, then the human brain’s difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations (proposed in the Savanna Principle) should interact with general intelligence, such that the Savanna Principle holds stronger among less intelligent individuals than among more intelligent individuals.  More intelligent individuals should be better able to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily novel (but not evolutionarily familiar) entities and situations than less intelligent individuals.

Thus the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis (hereafter “The Hypothesis” in this blog) suggests that less intelligent individuals have greater difficulty than more intelligent people with comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment.  In contrast, general intelligence does not affect individuals’ ability to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily familiar entities and situations that existed in the ancestral environment.

Evolutionarily novel entities that more intelligent individuals are better able to comprehend and deal with may include ideas and lifestyles, which form the basis of their preferences and values.  It would be very difficult for individuals to prefer or value something that they cannot truly comprehend.  So, applied to the domain of preferences and values, the Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals are more likely than less intelligent individuals to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values that did not exist in the ancestral environment and thus our ancestors did not have, but general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar preferences and values that existed in the ancestral environment.

I'll get to the IQ thing soon,not today, this is just an overview concerning the blog. Everything on it is aimed at destroying religion. The first article "Scientific fundamentalist." He's wiling to hook up fundamentalism if it's in line with the atheist ideology. None of this bs about fundamentalism is always the extreme, these guys (new eightieths?) are fundies. they just pitch for their brand of fundism like any good fundie would.

In other words intelligence is defined as the ability to cope with the novel. Most animal on the Savina can deal with the familiar, that's not hard, it's not as crucial to survival, so it's defined as average intelligence. Intelligence is  defined as the ability to solve problems that are crucial to survival. Dealing with the novel is more crucial and fewer organisms are equated to do so. Those who have that are more intelligent and thus intelligence is possessed by the smaller group. It's like the bell curve. The majority are in the middle where curve makes the bell. The smart people are on the right slope where it goes down and the smarter you are the fewer you are with and the further down the curve you go. So therefore, the majority are average.

This holds many implications for what we know about atheism. First of all atheist are always frantic to enlarge their numbers because of the typical fallacy of appeal to popularity would say being a little 3% minority makes them marginalized cranks. But this guy is rationalization being a marginalized crank by concluding that he's genetically superior because he's so much smarter than the  majority. Does this mean atheist will being insisting up on shrinking their ranks? That would be interesting test of my hypothesis that atheist are emotionally scared people who need to mock and ridicule those who disagree with them in order to feel special and important. If this doesn't catch on and atheists continue demanding that their ranks are bigger than they are perhaps that will disprove my view. On the other hand if they are truly smarter wouldn't they have thought of this already and shouldn't they already be doing it instead of insisting that there are more than them than there are?

It's a pseudo scientific argument. The assertion of the "hypothesis" is based upon an ideology not real scinece but "evolutionary psychology" which is basically sociobiology warmed over. The assertion that since novelty is harder to handle it must be the fewer who can handle it therefore the more intelligent is certainly a fallacious argument. If religions is genetically endowed, (weather there is a religious gene or not--just being a combination of other traits is still a genetic endowment) it's an adaptation and it belongs to the majority because it enables them to cope with their environment. The idea that those who don't have it are Superior or smarter because they are a smaller group is abhorrently fallacious. First of all he's defining not being religious as coping with novelty but it could just as easily be the case that religious people are better at coping with novelty. What he's calling "coping with novelty" is just his own vindication for his own lifestyle. In the quotation above he tells us coping with novelty is dealing with values and lifestyles. This has either nothing to do with survival or actually is negative and drag on survival and the majority have an adaption to lave destructive lifestyles  alone that's why they are the majority, they survived. If anything atheistic lifestyles would make one more open to disease and overdose, alcoholism and so forth than would belief, if by "belief" we construe "fundamentalist morality.". He's trying to put a spin on "sin" that makes it seem like an innovation in evolution that's totally his own value derangement one can can look at it the other way around.

Moreover,the attempt to attach a value of "intelligence" to lifestyle is nothing but Lamarkian evolution. He's trying to make evolution goal oriented, evolution is working to bestow smartness on people (that's the way sociobiology understood genes, like little guys inside you telling you want to do). He will admit being religious doesn't make you stupid but that more highly intelligent people tend to flock to non religious values and lifestyles. On the other hand that all depends upon how one looks at it. Fundamentalists do not tend to be as intelligent as open minded people, that's funny that this editors of this blog want to be thought  of as "science fundamentalists." It's perfectly plausible that some religious people handle novelty better than do non religious people but the statistic don't show it becuase they are swallowed up in the bell curve since so many more are religious and deal well with novelty. The same principle as the class average being brought down and reflecting badly on the one really bright kid in the class. We can also go on and talk about the aptness of IQ scores to reflect intelligence which is very much in doubt. I will deal with that when I deal with the over all IQ issue.

The blog is a morass of links each one leading to another set of articles and more morass of links, all about the stupidity of religious belief and the intellectual superiority of the atheists. For example linked up in the article are links to two articles upon "why we believe in God" of cousre putting an evolutionary spin on it to make it seem like a silly thing to do now. In the side bar holds a set of article under the title about IQ:

side bar in article on "the hypothesis."
IN the side bar of the original article

The whole blog is strongly oriented to discussing religion form an atheistic point of view. This is big time propaganda.

owned by Sussex Publishers:

Company Overview

Sussex Publishers, LLC publishes a health magazine primarily for psychologists, mental health professionals, and individuals. The company also operates a Website,, to provide information on therapists, health professionals, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists, medical doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, physical therapists, audiologists, childbirth educators, dietitians, dermatologists, homeopaths, maternity nurses, occupational therapists, ophthalmologists, podiatrist/chiropodists, respiratory therapists, and speech pathologists. In addition, it operates a Website,, to provide information on building pros, architects, contractors, in...
115 East 23rd Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10010
United States
Founded in 1991

Phone 212:260-7210

Key Executives

Chief Executive Officer
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2010.
This is not just some guy who reads the secular web. I'm not saying it's Thrush. I'm not saying it's a vast conspiracy. It is part of a movement that's a lot more powerful and better connected than it would be if atheism was truly nothing more than "the lack of a belief." The next time you are on a message board and you hear atheists say that just remember someone thought up that slogan about 25 years ago and convinced a group of people to start spouting it and it has no more to do with the new atheism than the man in the moon. Atheism in America is big business, it's publishing, it's  institutions, it's law suits it's an organization with a ideology and propaganda.

In coming days this week I will focus upon the articles linked in this article, especially the IQ stuff.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Loftus Is Losing his Grip: Debuncking Christianity Is On the Slippery Slpe to Hasbeenville

Ra Ra out team--gooooo atheism!

DC blog sports a graph showing 140,000 hits and pages visits for the year. If we look at what they have to say it's inanity boggles the mind. Take for example the rant below:

The Christian Faith Makes a Person Stupid

How many people have claimed to have finally debunked God? Way too many, This has been going on for centuries and someone is always popping up claiming to “Finally debunk God,

If God wasn’t real then why did it take over 2000 years to “Finally Debunk” Christianity? I call this “The Finally Debunk Crew”

The reason dimwit, is because Christianity is like a chameleon, ever changing in response to its culture, our criticisms, and science. The Christianities of yesteryear have been debunked. That's why you hold to the one you do today. And your type of Christianity will be replaced slowly into the future as well.
That's it. That's the whole article. The rest of it is 65 comments, of the inane kind. So they are just retrenching into hate minute, it's a pep rally Ala 1984. no Studies, No references to any sort of social science research. Of course had they done that it would be easily refuted as the evidence indicates there is no basis in empircal data for the thesis that religious people are less intelligent than atheists. You certiantly couldn't tell by the mouting of great thinkers who have believed in God, vs the tiny mole hill of great atheist thinkers.

Let's look a couple of their comments:

Theistic evolution and ID instead of creation, because evolution debunked creation. Genesis is not to be understood literally but allegorical. God of the gaps has lesser gaps to hide in, thousands of christian denominations, each with more or less different theology. Pope is "sorry" about the witch hunt (even this theology is not rejected, but transformed), pope is probably not going to start another crusades as it was the case in the past.
These are just a few of the shifts the church has made throughout the history. I don't know why you can't see the obvious... Blindness? Blindness caused by religion?

Hu? Yea, I see. what exactly are we supposed to see? People change over time, O there must not be a God. What about atheists changing over time? It's amazing what passes for actual argument, he's assuming that somehow Christianity claims nothing changes, everything stays the same. Why?

Astrology has been around for thousands of years longer than Christianity. People still believe in it. Therefore...

Therefore what?

I'm not sure that faith makes people stupid, I would say they are lazy in their thinking. They would rather have an answer given to them then try to find out for themselves( see Bill Onesty and his comment). It sure makes them look stupid.

most want the easy, short answer when there isn't one.

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will settle for bad ones.
Translation: if they don't accept my ideology or my world view then they are just intellectually lazy if they are not stupid. Yet look at the way they size up other differences in world view. Loftus does another little snippet (most of their articles are snippets now) on modern Icelanders who believe in elves.

The Elves of Iceland: "Hidden People" and "Nature Spirits"

What's interesting about the belief in Elves is that it comes from a country in Western society, not a third world country nor a primitive pre-industrial one. Many Icelanders really believe in "hidden people" such that it would be "political suicide" if a politician denied their existence. And what's more I doubt very much I could ever persuade these believers they are deluded. They would scoff at me and claim I'm an "enemy of the common good." They know they're right because of the stories told to them or because they had some kind of strange experience which they claim could only have come because they exist. Their children are brainwashed to believe in them in their homes. But I have no doubt at all that these Icelander believers are just like other people around the world, intelligent people. They just see the world through a different set of glasses using the lens they were brought up to believe.

Why aren't these guys stupid? Here he knows they are wrong, but he's willing to be compassionate and give them their basic proper respect in understanding that they have a different world view. In Christianity that different world view makes you stupid. Of course the proof of it all is that it's disproved y modeerity because it's changed over time. That's the recurrent theme in what makes them right. The atheist ideology of scinetism, scientism functions as god in their worldview. In the old days they used to try to make DC an intellectual fortress, giving it the old college try and saying intelligent things. Now they just assume they are right for superficial reasons and hold a hate-minute pep rally.

It never dawns upon them that their world view is just another world view. They have the fortress of fact guaranteed by science. Some day, maybe a thousand years form now, people will laugh at such scientific naivete and say "you don't want be like those petty twenty first century atheists who thought they were right about all things and knew all things because they could selectively pick out a few facts that supported their view?"

Friday, May 6, 2011

Atheist self Esteem part 2


Last time we looked at an general overview of the research, examined a specific study and put it in the context of its research milieu. That study said that rejecting Christianity correlates with low self esteem (LSE). This time we examine an argument made by an atheist, Skycomet the fallen angel (O him! of course). What's old Sky up to these days? He's on the Think Atheist blog. (I don't know the guy but screen names crack me up). In his article "Religious People Have More Self Esteem than Non Religious People," Skycomment argues against this view.
I was sitting in Adolescent Psychology class this morning and the topic was "self-esteem." About half-way through the class, the girl in front of me suggested that "more spiritual [which to theists means more religious] people have higher self-esteem than less spiritual [ie less religious or non-religious] people."

As most of us know, this is an extremely common theist argument against non-theists, particularly atheists. And, although I think the girl truly believed what she was saying...

But, the fact is that I REALLY disagree with her on this!

As documented in my last installment the studies show that there is a fairly solid conclusion suggested by the data, that religious people have high self esteem and such self esteem is a major factor in being religious. That does not automatically translate into the corollary that, therefore, those who reject religious belief must have low self esteem (LSE). We looked at a couple of studies that suggested it was true, but I admitted that is far from being actual proof. The research is just beginning. (I say a couple--one was directly designed to measure that hypothesis, the other correlated self esteem with God image, and skepticism with negative God image so it forms the basis of an argument but in an indirect way).

Skycomet goes on

Having been a former theist myself, I think it's more likely that religion [especially the monotheistic ones] impose low self-esteem on a person rather than bolster it!
That's irrelevant, the thesis is that people reject Christianity because of their LSE, and he did fall away. It may have been due to his self esteem. Now observe his view of God and Christianity:

After all [and since I came from Christianity I will use that as an example], what type of messages does Religion send it's believers?

- I am not worthy of your love, Christ.
- Why do you love me?
- I'm a sinner.
- Jesus died to save my sins, therefore I deserve to burn in hell.
- I must humble myself before the Lord.
- Pride is a sin.
He's confirming what Piedmont and the other researchers find, that negative God image is linked to rejecting Christianity, they also find that LSE is related to a negative God image. So in fact this may be confirming the original thesis thesis, Sky has unwittingly and contrary to his intent proved the thing he's trying to disprove. Of course its' only anecdotal and doesn't mean the thesis is proved. Yet, it does mean his argument is ineffective.

Some of the things in his list are not negative but they are indicative a low self esteem person. Humbling oneself before God is not negative but to a LSE person humility is equated with humiliation. LSE confuses Pride with high self esteem, and vice verse. He equates being a sinner with negative judgment on self wroth, whereas a high esteem person is capable of understanding that being sinner is not a judgment on one's worth a human being. Every single one of those statements indicate the opposite of what he wants to prove. He thinks they prove that that Christianity is negative and bad for self esteem, they really function like a semantic differential grid as the studies use and he's just proving his own LSE.

How in the world do those kind of messages correlate with positive self-esteem?!
It seems to me that they would do the opposite and make a person who is a TRUE believer [there are fakes among them, of course] think they'r * worthless.

If one starts with LSE in the first place. He's just reading the statements as low esteem would dictate. The low self esteem screws up the logic of the religious doctrine and distorts it. Take one example of the statments above:

Jesus died to save my sins, therefore I deserve to burn in hell.
That's not just illogical, it's not Christian doctrine it's antithetical to Christian doctrine, but it's a perfect example of the demonstration of low self esteem given by Piedmont (see 107-109). It's illogical that because Jesus died for me I must deserve to burn in hell. There's a missing step in there: my sins deserve punishment but Jesus loves me, I am not my sins." I am worth dying for since Jesus did die for me, that means Jesus loves me in spite of my sins. But this obvious conclusion is clouded by the LSE to remove the "I am worthy" premises so the connection between God's love and one's unworthy nature is made. This is the very example in the Piedmont book, "how could God love a person like me? I am unworthy of love, therefore, God either doesn't love me or there is no God."

Sky again:

However, this argument, and similar ones [like religion makes people happier then not having one] sound like baseless, bogus, and more manipulative attempts to use emotion and fear to turn people to religion! Afterall, who does not fear unhappiness? It doesn't seem to matter to a lot of religious people whether these claims are true or not... it only matters that they create more sheep [or slaves - whichever you want to call it] for their religion.
These claims are backed by hundreds of empirical studies, however, and I have demonstrated that and will soon (hopefully) have a book coming that about those studies. Of course it sounds bad to him he has LSE. All he's really proving is what I suspect that atheism is, at least for a lot of people, the product of LSE and psychological dynamics and unwillingness to do the hard work of re programing they way we years what's beings in the area of self esteem.

I see a lot of immorality and base cruelty in decieving people like this. [Although I don't think the girl was attempting to decieve people, I think she was one of the poor saps that believed the BS spouted from theologian mouths. And I feel sorry for her. - Which is how I tend to feel for a lot of religious people of late, sorry for them.]
This is based upon the bad assumptions colored by LSE.

I think non-theism, on the other hand, lifts someone's self-esteem. It gives us an incredible amount of power to control our own destiny and our own lives, it helps us to see through BS [whether it comes from religion or popular culture], and it raises the value of humanity above "god" giving us an incredible sense of self-worth.
This is of course an illusion based upon false premises which are in fact lies. Think about it, if LSE is leading one to reason poorly about God's love, so that love become an insult and hate and rejection of the source of love become liberating (because sin nature is now free run riot and is now confused with self esteem) then what's being experience dis not higher self esteem but a combination of temporary gratification of sin and revenge upon a father figure (God) who the skeptic hates for the alleged rejection he imagines to have been wrought upon him by God.

The fact of the matter is empirical studies prove religion = good self esteem and that people stay with their faith because it builds their self esteem. I can offer anecdotal back up for that becasue I was an atheist. I had LSE because idiots always told I was stupid because I had dyslexia. I had a born again experience and then my self esteem was healed I began to love myself for the first time since early childhood. This guy is just bucking the empirical proof because he doesn't like what scinece tells him.

So... with that said... it is clear to me... that this religious jibber-jabber is founded on nothing and sounds supiciously like an outright lie.
This little jibber jabber is based upon empirical studies. Notice he doesn't with any studies. Not a one of them. He does confirm what the studies show, the opposite of what he wants to confirm. The thing is this is not all good news for fundies. It may seem like it on the surface but not entirely. It means that the spiritual situation is mixed in with psychological dynamics. That means for the atheist it's not just a matter of "reason" and "logic" and being an atheist doesn't make him supiorior. Form the standpoint of Atheist Watch it proves my point, mocking and ridicule on message boards by atheists agaisnt Christians is probably the result of poor self esteem and their becoming atheists is a psychological problem not a logical truth or any kind of big liberation. For the fundie it means two things, they are failing to spread the gospel because they don't respect self esteem. The fundies do more to destroy self esteem than anyone (I say that having gone to fundie school and I became an atheist become of them). That means part of bringing God's love into the world is about loving people and healing them, it also means the spiritual and the psychological are mixed up together.

One thing I realized since the last installment (self esteem part 1) atheists generally take this topic as major insult. I'm saying "there may be a possibility that your atheism is the result of psychological dynamic" they see it as saying "you are not good!" After discussing with others I realize this is the way LSE works.You understand anything that is not lauding your greatness as an insult. People with LSE can't take any sort of criticism. They equate self esteem with worth. This is why they equate being guilty of sin with being found not worthy of love. That's just the LSE talking. That does not mean we are not worthy of love or that God doesn't love us. I am a person has always been effected by LSE. I had loving parents who cared, they tired to help but due to the dyslexia I always had LSE.

One more caveat, I don't believe in hell. I think the very doctrine of taking hell as a literal place of torment is in itself indicative a bad psychological dynamic, but it's one many of us are stuck with become we were taught to see things that way as kids. I think it gets in the way.

*typos in block quotes are made by atheists. I don't correct spelling for quotes. If I quote a person who misspells a word I quote the misspelling. I know I misspells words a lot that's not the point.