Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Hartshorne's Modal Argument

What follows is one of the most challenging subjects you will ever hear about. It is the best way to get a head ache, but I think it proves the existence of God. The problem is it requires a very specialized background to understand it. First you have to understand modal logic.

Modal Logic is so called because it turns upon the use of so called "modal operators." It's called "modal" because it is the logic of modes of being. "modes" as in what type of existence something exits in, weather it is dependent upon other things, weather it can cease or fail to exist and so forth. The modal operators are "necessity," "contingency" "impossibly," "possibility."

Necessity and contingency lie at the base of our modern understanding of cause and effect. They come from scholastic notions of logic, but the distinction between the notion our modern notions of c/e and the scholastic ones in the middle ages is not that great. The scholastic had more levels of cause, efficient cause, final cause and several others. But one could everything we have done in modern science using the scholastic ideas of c/e.

Necessity doesn't mean has to exist. It doesn't mean God is necessary to the existence of the world (except in so far as if God exists then of closure God is necessary to the world as creator--without God there would be no world).The modal argument does not begin with the assumption that God has to exist. It begins with the assumption that there is a valid distinction between necessity and contingency, which there must be.It proceeds along the lines of hypothetical consequence that obtain from different scenarios of God's existence. It concludes that is necessary. But by "necessary" it means not contingent, or not dependent upon something else for its' existence.

This is often misconstrued by atheists and taken to mean the argument proceeds from God's existence as an assumed first premise. This is not the case, the first premise is either/or. Either God's existence is necessary or it is impossible. This allows for the possibility that there is no God. So the argument does not begin by "defining God into existence."

Necessity essentially not contingent, it also coneys the idea of he can;'t cease or fail to exist, stemming from his eternal nature.

Contingent means the opposite: that a thing is dependent upon a prior thing for existence, or that it could cease or fail to exist.

Impossible means logically impossible, something in the structure of the idea contradictions, such as square circles.

one of the sore spots that atheists get stuck on is the idea that God cannot be contingent. They will always leap to the conclusion that this is defining God into existence, because they don't understand the concept of God. God, by the nature of the concept, carriers certain parameters just as the existence of any human assumes humanity, or the existence of any tree assumes that the tree in question is a plant. To have to define that God is not contingent should not even come into it. The idea of God is that of eternal creator of all things. Thus God cannot cease to exits and cannot be dependent upon anything (or he wouldn't be the creator of all things). Atheists usually assume that all knowledge has to be empirical. they will argue this is defining God into existence. maybe God is contingent.

Argument:

Close to Hartshorne's version

1. God is either necessary or impossible.
2. God can be conceived without contradiction.
3. Whatever can be conceived without contradiction is not impossible.
4. God is not impossible.
5. God's existence is a necessity (from 1-4, not contingent or impossible means necessary)
6. If God is necessary, then God exists.
7. Belief in God's existence is warranted

About Hartshorne

Hartshorne Lived to be 103, at the time of his death in the Fall of 2000, he was known as "the greatest living Metaphysician." Hartshorne was one of the major forces in the "back to God" movement in Philosophy (a term coined by Christianity Today in a 1979 article. His first and greatest calim to fame is as the second most influential voice in process philosophy, along with Alfred North Whtiehead, but he is also credited as the man who brought the Ontological argument back from ignominious defeat by Kant almost two centuries earlier. Hartshorne was also a recognized authority on birdsong, and an authority on bycicles, having never driven a car a single time in his centogenerian lifespan. Hartshorne devoted the last years of life to waging a letter's to the editor campaign to advocate social issues such as medical care.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Superstition in Atheist Ideology

The word superstition is often used to refer to a religion not practiced by the majority of a given society regardless of whether the prevailing religion contains alleged superstitions.[1] Let's look at an authoritative definition of the word, webster:
 
Definition of superstition
1a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causationb: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary.

More Webster:Recent Examples And the superstition has bled outside of stories — even today, many hotels don't have a 13th floor.— Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "It's Friday the 13th. In 2020. Here's a brief history about the superstitious date and some hilarious tweets to get you through the day.," 13 Nov. 2020While the other 3 out of 4 Americans might scoff at this, there is actually psychological science to back superstition.— Marika Gerken, CNN, "Friday the 13th: How it came to be and why it's considered unlucky," 13 Nov. 2020These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superstition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.[2]
When I first read this definition in Webster I said to myself they will use the bit about ignorance and deard of the unknown to indicate the mystical and the bit about causation to impune the cause argument. I think Webster's meant things like a  black cat crossing your path is bad luck. The atheist take it to mean argument from  first cause. The Wiki article footnotes Webster as it's source..
A superstition is "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation" or "an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition."[Wiki 1][Wiki 2] Often, it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy, and certain spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific (apparently) unrelated prior events.[Wiki 3] [3]
They justify these additions by citing other sources.  No one beyond that segment of atheism i call "Dawkamentalism"' believes that belief in God per se is superstition. There is another funny thing about that quote. It starts out telling us "A superstition is 'a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation' or 'an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition.'' What that actually says is that superstition results from Superstition. It defines the word by itself. Their reasoning is circular, they define the term by itself. That tells me they don't really understand they are just regurgitating party lines.

At this point it would be well to examine the origin of religion and superstition. The two did actually come out of the same phase of human development and their origins are linked. Since I don't buy a literal Genesis account I attribute human origin to evolitom. At one point humans began to notice the sense of God' s presence and mystical experience. All experiences of the divine must be filtered through cultural constructs, or symbols. God is beyond our understanding, thus beyond language. If we are talking about our experiences, however badly, we must filter them through culture.

RELIGION, although inherent in man, borrows its expressions from the setting or milieu in which man appears. The forms through which man expresses the supernatural are all drawn from the cultural heritage and the environment known to him, and are structured according to his dominant patterns of experience.In a hunting culture this means that the main target of observation, the animal, is the ferment of suggestive influence on representations of the supernatural. This must not be interpreted as meaning that all ideas of the supernatural necessarily take animal form. First of all, spirits do appear also as human beings, although generally less frequently; the high-god, for instance, if he exists, is often thought of as a being of human appearance. Second, although spirits may manifest themselves as animals they may evince a human character and often also human modes of action.[4]
In his work The Evolution of God,[5] Robert Wright distills the work of anthropology over the last two centuries and demonstrates an evolutionary development, form early superstition that personified nature (prehistoric people talking to the wind)[6], through a polytheistic origin in pre-Hebrew Israelite culture,[7] to monotheistic innovation with the God of the Bible. 

The point is we left superstition ages ago. It was an attempt at coping with the unknown, but divine revelation proved a better one.  We outgrew it. Lest one argue that this still implies a weakness in religion let's not forget astrology and astronomy grew up together and out of the same thought and the same stars. As did Chemistry and Alchemy


NOTES

[1]Vyse, Stuart A. (2000). Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 19–22.

[2]Superstition, Merroam-Webster online https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition (accessed 1/10/21)

[3]Siperototom, Wikepedioa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstition#:~:text=The%20word%20superstition%20is%20often,prevailing%20religion%20contains%20alleged%20superstitions.(accessed 1/10/21)

Soirces used in the Wiki artickle:

w1:cf. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition
w2:Drinkwater, Ken; Dagnall, Neil. "The science of superstition – and why people believe in the unbelievable". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
w3Vyse, Stuart A. (2000). Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 19–22. ISBN 978-0-1951-3634-0.

[4]Ake Hultkrantz, “Attitudes Toward Animals in Shashoni Indian Religion,” Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 4, No. 2. (Spring, 1970) © World Wisdom, Inc. no page listed,online archive, URL: http://www.studiesincomparativereligion.com/Public/articles/browse_g.aspx?ID=131, accessed 3/21/13

[5]Robert Wright, The Evolution of God, New York: Back Bay Books, reprint edition, 2010. The book was Originally published in 2009. The company “Back Bay books: is an imprint of Hachette Books, through Little Brown and company. Wright studied sociobiology at Princeton and taught at Princeton as and University of Pennsyania. He edits New Republic and does journalistic writing of science, especially sociobiology.

[6]Wright, ibid, 9

[7]Ibid 10

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Reprise argument from causal necessity

my argument

1. Something exists.
2. Whatever exists does so either because it exists eternally or because it's existence is dependent upon some prior cause or set of circumstances.
3.If all things that exist are dependent for their existence there is no actual explanation of causes
4. Therefore, there exists at least one  eternal thing
5. The  one eternal thing is the logical explanation for all causally dependent things
6.Any eternally existing cause of all things is worthy of the appellation "God."
7. Therefore God exists.[1]

He makes the assertion that my argent presupposes God,I say no it presupposes things need causes.
 
Px:there are different degrees of nothing, and it could be that there was a lesser degree of nothing originally, and that that may even have been what Krauss referred to.[2]

[what are degrees of nothingness? He's basissing his eternal destiny on this totally uprovable concept, degrees of nothingness]

Perhaps the laws of nature are eternal (or at least some fundamental subset), and the universe spontaneously appeared within that framework. That is consistent with science, and we see a precedent for spontaneous events in quantum mechanics with virtual particles.

[It is not a bit consistent with science because in science things need causes, he has no example or proof]

If you want to question what caused the laws of nature in the first place, well I will just use whatever BS you come up with for God. Brute fact, or just eternal, or necessary, or whatever.

[So in other words he's not going to try to justify something from nothing but just assert God is nonexistent so he's something from nothing too, But that totally ignores the fact that God is the more logical of the two options because it ys not arbitrary. It's based on minds being necessary for ideas, Laws of nature are ideas, ideas don't exist apart from minds. Things need causes, the universe needs am eternal cause so the cause of physical law must be a mind that mind we call God.]

Joe: Sure we both work from the unknown but God is a more logical assumption than acausal popping.

Px:To you it is, because you start from the assumption God exists.

[you have yet to justify it with logic, between the two alternatives we have the mind that thinks ideas vs the idea without mind, that means God is more logical.]

Joe: Notice you never acutely addressed the logic of the argument which proves that there must be one logical eternal necessary origin and thus this is worthy of being thought God.

Pix:If you want to worship a subset of the laws of nature as a god just because they are eternal, you go for it. What that has to do with the Trinity and a guy dying on the cross, however, is absolutely zero.

[He thinks the mind is the subset and the laws are the main thing.They  can't exist without the mind. The laws are ideas in the mind. The mind is not the subset] _my answer_________ Notice he still cannot offer any indication that something from nothing is possible, no examples.He asserts if we assume God the answer must be wrong. That's like saying if we assume the answer to a math problem must be numbers then it's wrong. He only says this because he has no logical answer. He asserts unproven ideas like something from nothing because he wishes to avoid the obvious which is God. There are reasons why I went from atheism to belief but he is afraid to hear them.


NOTES

[1]Joseph Hinman,"Argument from causal Necessity," Cadre Commemts blog, (December 14, 2020) https://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2020/12/argument-from-causal-necessity.html (accessed Jan 3,2021) Orogoally, Hinman's Cosmological Argument," on Creationism (June 12, 2020) https://oncreationism.blogspot.com/2020/06/hinmans-cosmological-argument.html [2]Ibid

Trump on tape rigging elections

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mgAn3FXPec Trump tries to intimidate Georgia officials in to rigging the election, It's all on tape. I hate this guy all over again, Share this! isten to the tape,

Monday, December 28, 2020

Answering the Atheist Legacy Argument

Pixie has often and repeatedly made an old argument used by internet atheists, that religion in general and Christianity in particular are primarily believed by people because their parents handed it down to them, This serves two functions, it allows  him to assert that the intellectual content of reasons for faith are weak (aka no rational warrant) and this will lead to decline of the belief. As Pixie has put it: 
Personally, I think it [level of commitment to Christianity] can only go down, as the primary reason for believing in Christianity is that you were raised in a Christian culture. As the culture becomes less Christian, less Christians will be raised...The evidence for this is very clear; Hindus come from Hindu families, Muslims come from Muslim families, Christians come from Christian families. People do not follow a religion because of the evidence, they follow it because they were told it was true from an early age...Sure, there are other factors. Clearly Christianity got started somehow, but it was in a very different world. Cultures adopted Christianity when the alternatives were local superstitions and paganism. Now Christianity is competing with science in a world where information is freely available; what does it have to offer?[1]

He states "...the primary reason for believing in Christianity is that you were raised in a Christian culture...(above)" that is a false statement, it is emphatically not the case. His assertion obviously proves nothing. Just because the majority of believers may not be deep believers, that does not prove there are no deep believers who discovered the truth. Moreover, it is not the case that the major reason for belief is parental legacy. This is specifically disproved by the numbers.
     
"2.7 million convert to Christianity annually from another religion..."[2]That is a direct contradiction to the thesis since these people should be moving away from religion. 44% If religious believers in America have left their childhood faith for another faith.
One of the most striking findings from the 2007 Landscape Survey was the large number of people who have left their childhood faith. The 2007 survey found that more than one-in-four American adults (28%) have changed their religious affiliation from that in which they were raised. This number includes people who have changed from one major religious tradition to another, for instance, from Protestantism to Catholicism or from Judaism to no religion. If change within religious traditions is included (e.g., from one Protestant denominational family to another), the survey found that roughly 44% of Americans now profess a religious affiliation different from that in which they were raised...the survey found that roughly 44% of Americans now profess a religious affiliation different from that in which they were raised.[3]
            In a study commissioned by Theos, (the public theology think tank),it is found that life long Christians tend to be less well educated than life long term atheists, This is not surprising,"...What is interesting – and surprising –"says Nick Spencer,
the same story is going on in education as with socio-economic grade. "Converts" to theism are disproportionately made up of those with a master's degree or above, and those with "no academic qualifications" are disproportionately underrepresented in this group, whereas "converts" to atheism are disproportionately made up of those with "no academic qualifications", and with BAs (but not MAs or above).[4]
  That would seem to totally disprove the thesis. Converts to Christiainty tend to be better educated more Ph.D more masters surely these are not conertions based upon shallow superstition? Nor are they doing so because of their parents.  I never took the argument seriously because it's disproved by my own case. I rejected my parents beliefs. I became an atheist.But then I went on to deeper truths that atheism could not address. Yet I didn't just go back to my parents teachings in fact my parents  had changed independently of me.
          
notes

[1]Pixie in Joseph Hinman,"Is Religious Belef in Declime?"  Cadre Coments,blog, comment page (December 2020)https://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2020/12/is-religious-belief-in-decline.html?showComment=1608753653954#c6215613084052930255 
 

[2]David B. Barrett, George Thomas Kurian, Todd M. Johnson, eds. World Christian Encyclopedia Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press USA,2001.360.

[3] "Faith in Flux,: Pew Research centerm Religion in Public life (APRIL 27, 2009--Revised February 2011)https://www.pewforum.org/2009/04/27/faith-in-flux/ accesse Dec. 27 2020  

[4] Nick Spencer, "religion and learning: what we know," The Guardian(6 Oct 2009 )https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2009/oct/05/atheist-religion-education-demographics-class  Nick Spencer is director of studies at the thinktank Theos. His book Freedom and Order: History, Politics and the English Bible is published by Hodder ...    (2,000+ respondents) attitude on eolition,a/theism

Sunday, December 20, 2020

is religion dying out? part 2

Last time I raised the fair certainty that religion will cease to be a major influence on society within the space of this century.[1] In this essay I will do two things: (1) I will discuss my own ideas about the cause of the great falling away, (2) Play the historian's "what if...?" game using the worst case scenario. By "worst case" I mean realistically worst.

I ended last time talking about how the religious right in America has poisoned the well for young minds. That only applies to America [2] and while it means that a possible revival is short circuited it still assumes a larger world wide source of apostasy so the issue moves beyond America.

Twenty percent of American adults claimed no religious preference in 2012, compared to 7 percent twenty-five years earlier. Previous research identified a political backlash against the religious right and generational change as major factors in explaining the trend. That research found that religious beliefs had not changed, ruling out secularization as a cause. In this paper we employ new data and more powerful analytical tools to: (1) update the time series, (2) present further evidence of correlations between political backlash, generational succession, and religious identification, (3) show how valuing personal autonomy generally and autonomy in the sphere of sex and drugs specifically explain generational differences, and (4) use GSS panel data to show that the causal direction in the rise of the “Nones” likely runs from political identity as a liberal or conservative to religious identity, reversing a long-standing convention in social science research. Our new analysis joins the threads of earlier explanations into a general account of how political conflict over cultural issues spurred an increase in non-affiliation.

This tells us the decline is not due to loss of faith. Religious beliefs had not changed, it also tells us it only pertains to America, We still have this larger secularization looming over the world. I put oiut a dew ideas in the last issues. Here is what I said in last issue: ...economic growth brings freedom from traditional ways of life. Mass communication brings exposure to new ideas,physical security reduces the need for for spiritual consolation.[3] "An assumption lay at the core of the social sciences, either presuming or sometimes predicting that all cultures would eventually converge on something roughly approximating secular, Western, liberal democracy."[4] Thus there is an assumption that humanity is just outgrowing outmoded belief. I think there is a better explanation. At least in term of the US the religious right is to blame.[5]

There is the modern background of "modernity" but given the fact that people have come to some kind of terms Bernstein ancient and modern over the last 500 years, that does not explain the decline. I think the overall decline tied to modernity is explained by Herert Marcuse's idea ofd one-dimensional man,

Herbert Marcuse (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German academic who fled to America to avoid the Nazis in the 30s. He worked for the OAS during the war and latter become the major intellectual powerhouse behind the New Left of the 1960s. He was based in San Diego where the taught, Ronald Reagan tried to have his Doctorate revoked to silence his criticisms of the war and the establishment. He was a Marxist, some say Neo-Marxist he was critical of Stalin and called a revisionist by Stalinists. Marcuse was best known for his seminal work One-Dimensional Man (1964), one of the greatest books of the era and one of primary importance for the century. In One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse argues that affluent capitalist society has been good at providing primary needs to a mass population (despite continuing poverty for some) and it has created a bourgeois society that perpetuates false needs. The American worker has bought into his place in the capitalist order as a cog in the machine, or a bit of overhead for the owners of the means of production, because in exchange will continue to supply the false needs upon which he has become admitted; that is the material trammels of an affluent society.

...The irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits...The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they promote a false consciousness which is immune against falsehood. And as these beneficial products have become available to more individuals, in more social classes, the indoctrination they carry ceases to be publicity; it becomes a way of life. It is a good way of life' much better than before and as a good way of life, it militates against qualitative change. Thus emerges a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior, in which ideas, aspirations, and objectives that, by their content, transcend the established universe of discourse and action are either repelled or reduced to terms of this [social-political] universe. They are re-defined by the rationality of the given system and of its quantitative extension.[6]

The prognosis for one-dimensional man doesn’t end with just supporting capitalism as the basis of false needs. The whole concept of being a thinking person who lives in a society in which thinking people can determine their own lives is called into question and in fact done away with because the concept of freedom is illusory and not scientific. The scientistic crowd is telling us that freedom is a trick. The issues of one-dimensional man don’t stop Marxism because there is more to power than just capital vs labor, or capitalism vs. Marxism. Lurking behind the accumulation of false needs (technological version of bread and circuses) is operational thinking. This is what Marcuse means by "quantitative extension of the given system" (quotation above). " The trend [one-dimensional consumer society] may be related to a development in scientific method: operationalism in the physical, behaviorism in the social sciences. The common feature is a total empiricism in the treatment of concepts; their meaning is restricted to the representation of particular operations and behavior...In general, we mean by a concept nothing more than a set of operations...a positivism which, in its denial of the transcending elements of reason, forms the academic counterpart to the socially required behavior."[7] The positivist and reductionist tendencies of contemporary scientific thought, which props up the techno structure and furnishes it with "empirical proof," works to eliminate all concepts that cannot be quantified, and therefore, eventually ”commodified.”

This 1DM weighs on the sense of religious belief in that modern one-dimensional society sells the sensations sexuality like popcorn, It trades in sexiness and sensitivities designs it into most advertising appeals, We learn to measure selfhood by the sense of personal power and consumerism. One cannot bottle the spirit and sell sanctification like one can sell sensuality in perfume. Our consumerist society bottles personal power and sensuality and sells it in a thousand ways but we forget what spirituality is and we can;t sell that to our kids. A kid can find a cigarette butt and smoke it in secret and have her first taste of sin but she can't sneak her first communion. Not to say that I chalk it all up to a battle between holiness and sexuality. Which would go down better for a pack of streaming teens, an episode of the bachelor or a Bible study? All amide the back drop of scientific pundits telling us we have the answers in science and religion has no place in such a world..

I don't suppose that religion will cease to exist, It will probably lose social clout and then be relegated to the private realm. Religious doctrine will suffer with no institutional teaching mechanism. If the organisational structures decline the support for scholarship will wither away. Theology will become more diverse, more speculative, more absurd. Religious belief will become like philosophical ideas that are not popular but people still hold them like idealism.

On the other hand there is an upside. With no competing social stricture. with the disappearance of the older competitor that once held science back (supposedly--according to enlightenment propaganda)[8] Science will have no need to attack religion. Over time religious ideas more palatable to science will take the field. But it is likely that the theological support stricture will not wither away, although it may take a hit.After all even though some predict religion will disappear in England [9] it will probably only decline to 2/3 of pop in America.[10]

Be that as it may there are two basic reasons why religion will survive, at least as a private practice and philosophical idea, and probably with some social structure: (1) Mystical Experience (2) God on the Brain. Mystical experience is real, it is scientifically proven to be real, it is good for you it wont go away, it is also at the basis of all organized religion.[11]There is no Gene for religion but there does not have to be; it does have an adaptation that makes it hard wired. aside from a gene it could be espadrilles.But it's part of our genetic structure and it's mot going away[12]



Notes

[1]Joseph Hinman, "Is Religion Dyig out part 1," Metacrock's Blog, ( FEBRUARY 17, 2019) https://metacrock.blogspot.com/2019/02/is-religion-dying-out-1.html

[2] Michael Hout, Claude S. Fischer, "Explaining Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Political Backlash and Generational Succession, 1987-2012." Sociological Science, October 13, 2014 DOI 10.15195/v1.a24 https://www.sociologicalscience.com/articles-vol1-24-423/ (access 2/19/19)

[3] Peter Harrison, "Why Religion is Not Going Away and Science Will Not Destroy It," Aeon,no page nimber
https://aeon.co/ideas/why-religion-is-not-going-away-and-science-will-not-destroy-it [accessed 2/17/19]

[4]Ibid.

[5] Pew Research Center: Religion and Public Life, "The Future of Worlds Religions: Population growth projections, 2910-2050"(April 2, 2015) http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/ [accessed 2/16/19]

[6] Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Soceity. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964, 12.

[7] Ibid

[8] James Hannam, Genesis of science: How The Christian Middle Ages Launched The Scientific Revolution. New York. Ny: Regnery Publsihinf In.,2011,4.

[9] David Voas, "Hard evidence: is Christianity dying in Britain?" The Conversation, US inc.(November 27, 2013 1)
http://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-is-christianity-dying-in-britain-20734 [accessed 2/16/19]

[10] Pew Research Center: Religion and Public Life, "The Future of Worlds Religions: Population growth projections, 2910-2050"(April 2, 2015) http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/ [accessed 2/16/19]

[11] Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God:Rational Warramt for Belief. Colorado Springs: Grand viaduct. 2014.

[12] Ibid

Is religion dying out ? part 1

It is said that religion will cease to be a major influence on society within the space of this century.[1] In this essay I will do two things: (1) I will discuss my own ideas about the cause of the great falling away, (2) Play the historian's "what if...?" game using the worst case scenario. By "worst case" I mean realistically worst.

I ended last time talking about how the religious right in America has poisoned the well for young minds. That only applies to America [2] and while it means that a possible revival is short circuited it still assumes a larger world wide source of apostasy so the issue moves beyond America.

Twenty percent of American adults claimed no religious preference in 2012, compared to 7 percent twenty-five years earlier. Previous research identified a political backlash against the religious right and generational change as major factors in explaining the trend. That research found that religious beliefs had not changed, ruling out secularization as a cause. In this paper we employ new data and more powerful analytical tools to: (1) update the time series, (2) present further evidence of correlations between political backlash, generational succession, and religious identification, (3) show how valuing personal autonomy generally and autonomy in the sphere of sex and drugs specifically explain generational differences, and (4) use GSS panel data to show that the causal direction in the rise of the “Nones” likely runs from political identity as a liberal or conservative to religious identity, reversing a long-standing convention in social science research. Our new analysis joins the threads of earlier explanations into a general account of how political conflict over cultural issues spurred an increase in non-affiliation.

This tells us the decline is not due to loss of faith. Religious beliefs had not changed, it also tells us it only pertains to America, We still have this larger secularization looming over the world. I put out a dew ideas previoully on my blog. Here is what I said in that issue: ...economic growth brings freedom from traditional ways of life. Mass communication brings exposure to new ideas,physical security reduces the need for for spiritual consolation.[3] "An assumption lay at the core of the social sciences, either presuming or sometimes predicting that all cultures would eventually converge on something roughly approximating secular, Western, liberal democracy."[4] Thus there is an assumption that humanity is just outgrowing outmoded belief. I think there is a better explanation. At least in term of the US the religious right is to blame.[5]

There is the modern background of "modernity" but given the fact that people have come to some kind of terms both ancient and modern over the last 500 years, that does not explain the decline. I think the overall decline tied to modernity is explained by Herert Marcuse's idea of one-dimensional man.

Herbert Marcuse (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German academic who fled to America to avoid the Nazis in the 30s. He worked for the OAS during the war and latter become the major intellectual powerhouse behind the New Left of the 1960s. He was based in San Diego where the taught, Ronald Reagan tried to have his Doctorate revoked to silence his criticisms of the war and the establishment. He was a Marxist, some say Neo-Marxist he was critical of Stalin and called a revisionist by Stalinists. Marcuse was best known for his seminal work One-Dimensional Man(1964), one of the greatest books of the era and one of primary importance for the century. In One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse argues that affluent capitalist society has been good at providing primary needs to a mass population (despite continuing poverty for some) and it has created a bourgeois society that perpetuates false needs. The American worker has bought into his place in the capitalist order as a cog in the machine, or a bit of overhead for the owners of the means of production, because they in exchange will continue to supply the false needs upon which he has become admitted; that is the material trammels of an affluent society.

...The irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits...The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they promote a false consciousness which is immune against falsehood. And as these beneficial products have become available to more individuals, in more social classes, the indoctrination they carry ceases to be publicity; it becomes a way of life. It is a good way of life' much better than before and as a good way of life, it militates against qualitative change. Thus emerges a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior, in which ideas, aspirations, and objectives that, by their content, transcend the established universe of discourse and action are either repelled or reduced to terms of this [social-political] universe. They are re-defined by the rationality of the given system and of its quantitative extension.[6]

The prognosis for one-dimensional man doesn’t end with just supporting capitalism as the basis of false needs. The whole concept of being a thinking person who lives in a society in which thinking people can determine their own lives is called into question and in fact done away with because the concept of freedom is illusory and not scientific. The scientistic crowd is telling us that freedom is a trick. The issues of one-dimensional man don’t stop Marxism because there is more to power than just capital vs labor, or capitalism vs. Marxism. Lurking behind the accumulation of false needs (technological version of bread and circuses) is operational thinking. This is what Marcuse means by "quantitative extension of the given system" (quotation above). " The trend [one-dimensional consumer society] may be related to a development in scientific method: operationalism in the physical, behaviorism in the social sciences. The common feature is a total empiricism in the treatment of concepts; their meaning is restricted to the representation of particular operations and behavior...In general, we mean by a concept nothing more than a set of operations...a positivism which, in its denial of the transcending elements of reason, forms the academic counterpart to the socially required behavior."[7] The positivist and reductionist tendencies of contemporary scientific thought, which props up the techno structure and furnishes it with "empirical proof," works to eliminate all concepts that cannot be quantified, and therefore, eventually ”commodified.”

This 1DM weighs on the sense of religious belief in that modern one-dimensional society sells the sensations sexuality like popcorn, It trades in sexiness and sensitivities designs it into most advertising appeals. We learn to measure selfhood by the sense of personal power and consumerism. One cannot bottle the spirit and sell sanctification like one can sell sensuality in perfume. Our consumerist society bottles personal power and sensuality and sells it in a thousand ways but we forget what spirituality is and we can;t sell that to our kids. A kid can find a cigarette butt and smoke it in secret and have her first taste of sin but she can't sneak her first communion. Not to say that I chalk it all up to a battle between holiness and sexuality. Which would go down better for a pack of streaming teens, an episode of the bachelor or a Bible study? All amide the back drop of scientific pundits telling us we have the answers in science and religion has no place in such a world..

I don't suppose that religion will cease to exist, It will probably lose social clout and then be relegated to the private realm. Religious doctrine will suffer with no institutional teaching mechanism. If the organisational structures decline the support for scholarship will wither away. Theology will become more diverse, more speculative, more absurd. Religious belief will become like philosophical ideas that are not popular but people still hold them like idealism.

On the other hand there is an upside. With no competing social stricture. with the disappearance of the older competitor that once held science back (supposedly--according to enlightenment propaganda)[8] Science will have no need to attack religion. Over time religious ideas more palatable to science will take the field. But it is likely that the theological support stricture will not wither away, although it may take a hit.After all even though some predict religion will disappear in England [9] it will probably only decline to 2/3 of pop in America.[10]

Be that as it may there are two basic reasons why religion will survive, at least as a private practice and philosophical idea, and probably with some social structure: (1) Mystical Experience (2) God on the Brain. Mystical experience is real, it is scientifically proven to be real, it is good for you it wont go away, it is also at the basis of all organized religion.[11] There is no Gene for religion but there does not have to be; it does have an adaptation that makes it hard wired. aside from a gene it could be espadrilles.But it's part of our genetic structure and it's mot going away[12]

Notes


[1]Joseph Hinman, "Is Religion Dying out part 1," Metacrock's Blog, ( FEBRUARY 17, 2019)
https://metacrock.blogspot.com/2019/02/is-religion-dying-out-1.html

[2] Michael Hout, Claude S. Fischer, "Explaining Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Political Backlash and Generational Succession, 1987-2012." Sociological Science, October 13, 2014 DOI 10.15195/v1.a24
https://www.sociologicalscience.com/articles-vol1-24-423/ (access 2/19/19)

[3] Peter Harrison, "Why Religion is Not Going Away and Science Will Not Destroy It," Aeon,no page nimber https://aeon.co/ideas/why-religion-is-not-going-away-and-science-will-not-destroy-it [accessed 2/17/19]

[4]Ibid.

[5] Pew Research Center: Religion and Public Life, "The Future of Worlds Religions: Population growth projections, 2910-2050"(April 2, 2015) http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/ [accessed 2/16/19]

[6] Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Soceity. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964, 12.
[7] Ibid

[8] James Hannam, Genesis of science: How The Christian Middle Ages Launched The Scientific Revolution. New York. Ny: Regnery Publsihinf In.,2011,4.

[9] David Voas, "Hard evidence: is Christianity dying in Britain?" The Conversation, US inc.(November 27, 2013 1) http://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-is-christianity-dying-in-britain-20734 [accessed 2/16/19]

[10] Pew Research Center: Religion and Public Life, "The Future of Worlds Religions: Population growth projections, 2910-2050"(April 2, 2015) http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/ [accessed 2/16/19]

[11] Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God:Rational Warramt for Belief. Colorado Springs: Grand viaduct. 2014.

[12] Ibid


Monday, December 14, 2020

No post today

Apologies, running late today. back wednessday.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Let us heal after the election

I am going to violate the agreement and speak of politics. I think it is in the best interest of the group that I do this. I have a friend, I wont say who he is. He is a Christian, a conservatove republican, he accepts the notion that the election was stolen, he is now ready to be killed by bands of vengeful liberals who he says are demonic communists; he thinks  Biden ,one of the finest men in American politics, is a demonic satanic Hitler. This guy thinks the shooting war i ready to start and liberals are going to come and wipe out his neighborhood.  Nothing even remotely like this is going to happen,

This is insane, those of you who think this way have been brainwashed you are in a cult. you need to deprogram yourself now. I speak the truth. When I think of the drug part of my life the people who did drugs were more rational than you are being right now. Republicans are so used to winning they can't accept losing now.

Liberals have won before and we did NOT wipe anyone out.Carter, Clinton, Obama there were no  purrges. Why would there be now?
 
The Election has not been stolen, Read about the court cases all the evidence has been rejected by the court because it's bad evidence. The whole idea is based upon a lie, you know Trump lies why believe him now? Even  his own Attorney General said this, Bill Barr said there is no evidence of fraud.

There will be no purge. reject fear.. Pray with me now agree with me in prayer Lord Jesus please pour out your Holy Spirit on America and give us peace and let us feel protected.If there was any wrongdoing in the election, expose it.  in Jesus name,

I have lost so many times in elections by huge land slides they can't stand to lose once it;s unfair, but I'm not gonna attack anyone.It's just politics in Democracy,