February 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm #322799
Lausten, thank you for a thoughtful post. It required several past and present generations literally hundreds even thousands of years for us to be fully involved with religions. (after surviving hundreds of thousands of years with no religion sans animism) I believe it will take hundreds of years for our species to recover from the damage Christianity has caused in their quest for gifts of money and personal favors.
Evidence based assessment is that the secular movement needs to consolidate and build upon contemporary, fortuitous trends. Relying on the courts and careerist politicians to help deliver a social and political agenda may not guarantee success. Instead, humanists and secularists need to copy the successful organizational strategy of the religious right. The movement has to offer a clear, positive, alternative narrative based on a sustained educational program aimed at mobilizing a mass public. Permanent success necessitates creating a social movement with strong institutions having adequate financial resources. Without those solid foundations, the much-heralded rise of the nones could be an ephemeral phenomenon.
About trends there is one called the nones or religious nones. Americans claiming “no religion”, sometimes referred to as “nones” because of how they answer the question “what is your religious tradition?”, now represent about 23.1 percent of the population, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. The trend “nones” have been noticeably increasing for the last several years. In America, the number of brand-name-church failures account for thousands of people dismissed and congregations disbanded daily . There are hundreds of theology departments and departments of religion at the country’s institutions of higher learning and seminaries that have trained the country’s 300,000 active clergy are also looking for new jobs. While the number of Christian nones is increasing they still remain an invisible minority distributed among democrats, republicans, independents, the least educated, the most educated, the poor, the rich, every racial and ethnic group, every geographic region in the U.S.
Church failures (Of the 250,000 Protestant churches in America, 200,000 are either stagnant (with no growth) or declining. There are less than half of the number of churches today as only 100 years ago. 3,500 people leave the church every single day. Since 1950, there are 1/3rd fewer churches in the U.S. these numbers are only one factor contributing to the rolling total number of the “nones”.
The days are gone when people felt it was culturally, economically, or politically advantageous to be part of a Christian church, even if they weren’t true believers in Christ. Atheists and other skeptics have been in existence as long as the religion.
The world is becoming more secular. France will have a majority secular population soon. So will the Netherlands and New Zealand. The United Kingdom and Australia will soon lose Christian majorities and finally America’s obscene Christian regions are losing their stranglehold.
An increasing percent of the American population are understanding the stories created within the Biblical era were created for the people of the Biblical era. The genre of storytelling during the Biblical era often involved imaginative supernatural characters and events interlaced in the story. The story spread by tribal oral tradition.
Supernatural was not a word during the Biblical era it was a way of life. It will require hundreds of years for humans with the stories from the Biblical era ingrained in their human soul to expire to get back to the business of helping our species success into the future.
The term “None” has come to describe atheists, agnostics, and even those who believe in God without subscribing to a particular religious faith. It’s one of those words we would never use to describe ourselves, but researchers and media types frequently use it to describe us.
Barry Kosmin, the man who coined the term “nones” is the founding director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and a professor at Trinity College, Kosmin had been helping to conduct the American Religious Identification Survey for nearly three decades. Once they’d evaluated data from the 1990s, Kosmin and his team were determined to name a new category. Nonreligious” was a possibility. So was “non-faith” and “non-affiliated, but Kosmin rejected all of these. The “non” part bothered him. “Non-affiliated” would be like calling people “non-white,” he said. “We didn’t want to suggest that ‘affiliated’ was the norm, and every one else was an ‘other nomenclature,” he added, “is quite important in these things.”
So Kosmin began calling this group the “nones,” a shortened version for “none of the above” — which is what people often said when asked to name their religion. He never thought the term would stick. “It began as a joke,” he said, “but now, like many of these things, it has taken on its own life.” Much like the “God Particle,” the accepted meaning of the term has significantly warped from its intended meaning, and it looks like we’re stuck with it for now.
That is how and why we came up with the unusual but now accepted name “nones” for what religionists used to call the “unchurched”? In most religion research prior to the ARIS series, the usual practice was to use questionnaires with a list of religious groups. The form provided a list of religious groups to choose from, and at the bottom was a category for the benighted folk labeled “None of the above.” We did away with the list and instead offered an open-ended question: “What is your religion, if any?” Then we classified all those who didn’t provide a religious identification or who provided a nontheist response as “nones.” This provided amusement because of its satirical association with Catholic sisters. (Nones also had a possible variant pronunciation, an allusion to Monty Python’s Spamalot via Shakespeare: “Hey, Nonny, Nonny!”)
In my opinion it’s important for activist humanists and secularists to be knowledgeable about the trends in American religion since these account for much of the current polarization in our society. To begin with, you need to distinguish the different aspects of religion: belief, belonging, and behavior. The data shows membership in religious organizations has declined more than belief in the supernatural. This is expected from our 200,000 years of living the supernatural and 2,000 years of Christian experience.
The move into the “none” category has largely been a spontaneous and leaderless development. This mass exit from religion is a great opportunity for organizations in the secular movement, but the continuation of the current trajectory and its permanence is not assured. My goal here is to provide an appreciation of the forces at play. (human evolution and creationism of everything all at once). The losses suffered by organized religion have occurred largely because of the defection of its nominal and liberal elements.
Church denominations that have suffered the largest losses in members are the more liberal, moderate groups, particularly once socially dominant brand name religions mainline Protestants, the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and American Baptists. In fact, the trend today is for religious groups not to publicly disparage each other’s differing revelatory truths. So, paradoxically, many of the bitter battles of today’s culture war tend to be internal within each faith or denomination. Reformers and liberals versus conservatives and fundamentalists. The focus of these conflicts is usually about control and policy. Since many groups have lost their liberals to the nones the ironic result is that the majority of churches and denominations have become more traditional and conservative.
For example, recently the United Methodist Church has become the first mainline denomination to reject LGBTQ clergy and gay marriage. The UMC is a global church now dominated by a coalition of white American conservatives and Africans, unafraid to voice strong homophobic and misogynistic opinions. The religious and ideological opponents of humanism are not confined to white American evangelicals. Islam poses similar challenges to progressives who wish to valorize multiculturalism, indigenous cultures, and people of color. The religious right is dominant globally and across religions and cultures in the Middle East, Africa, and India, and religious intolerance and fundamentalism are growing even among the Buddhists of Burma and Sri Lanka.
However, in the US, paradoxically, there is now greater efforts by Christians of different church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings. The term is also often used to refer to efforts towards the visible and organic unity of different Christian denominations in some form. among the religious right than ever before. Mormons, Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, and Orthodox Jews no longer dispute their various truths about salvation but instead willingly cooperate on conservative political and public policy issues. For example, American evangelicals who in the 1960s feared the Catholicism of President John F. Kennedy nowadays enthusiastically endorse Catholic justices for the Supreme Court.
One feature of the religious right that is often ignored by humanists is their investment in formal and informal education. They’re not just educating and indoctrinating their young in so-called Christian, Catholic parochial, and Jewish day schools. They’ve also funded universities, law schools, think tanks, and cable television channels. They’ve likewise invested big time in educating adult members in their theology, what I would categorize as their ideology. As a result, their people are well versed in their sacred literature. This is not just a Sunday activity—Wednesday night is church night in much of the American South. The result is that the followers of the religious right are not only actively committed to their cause but also generous, as demonstrated by their churches’ fundraising success, often through tithing.
I bring this to your attention because of the contrast with the situation of contemporary American humanism and secularism. Unfortunately, secularists haven’t invested in formal or informal education to any extent. The lack of a comprehensive educational network is a disadvantage for secularists in the battle of ideas. There is little hope of missionizing the vast potential population of nones. One cannot rely on the public school system and the universities to guide them towards an appreciation of the secular Enlightenment. The reality is that the Texas School Board has much more influence than the American Humanist Association on the curricula of the nation’s public schools.
The information gap between religious and secular organizations is vast. The religious have invested heavily in market research on their adherents, not only through their own religious bodies but also with the aid of sympathetic wealthy partners again, by way of contrast in the secular movement has made minimal investment in market research.
The reason, of course, for the weaknesses I’ve highlighted in secular and humanist movements lack resources and therefore institutional infrastructure. Brand name religious affiliates is a high proportion of its potential constituency (over 100 million Americans are paid-up members of religious congregations), all the secular and humanist organizations combined currently have little more than 100,000 members out of the national population of around fifty million nones. The funding resources and political clout of the two ideologies reflect these membership statistics more than they do those provided by social surveys of religious identification. The religious organizations have the advantage of millions of donors motivated by the powerful eternal reward-punishment myth, an idea with which humanists cannot compete.
Permanent success necessitates creating a social movement with strong institutions having adequate financial resources. Without those solid foundations, the much-heralded rise of the nones could be an ephemeral phenomenon. Although the secular trend in society seems hopeful in terms of raw statistics, severe challenges face those organizations that would hope to benefit from the trend of disaffiliation from religion.
We should be aware of overconfidence and wishful thinking of pundits. One issue of concern is the emergence of the fashionable “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) identity. In a 2017 Pew survey on attitudes towards spirituality and religion across fifteen Western countries, 64 percent of SBNRs said even though they didn’t believe in God as described in the Bible, they believed in a higher power. This outlook tends to develop into a search for practices that help the individual achieve a sense of union with the transcendent. It’s not surprising, then, that yoga, meditation, crystal healing, horoscopes, psychics, and sundry New Age beliefs have been gaining in popularity, particularly among the millennial generation. The media tends to encourage this fascination with unreason, the weird, and “woo.” And some neuroscientists now suggest that humans have a built-in need for trancelike emotional states that have been the stock-in-trade of organized religion for thousands of years.
To be a real force in American society, the secular movement needs to create mechanisms to encourage a positive attachment to humanism. Going forward it cannot just rely on the public’s negative sentiment about religion or anti-clericalism. There is a need to overcome intellectual anomie and get the nones to understand and appreciate the cultural inheritance of humanism and freethought and inspire a positive secular loyalty. Lack of exposure to the intellectual and historical origins of humanism and secularism to thinkers such as Lucretius, Francis Bacon, Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, Daniel Dennett, and so on—produces what Marxists would define as a lumpen quality to the fast-growing none population. It is a population that lacks self-awareness and solidarity. Though people are under no obligation to be logical or consistent in their attitudes and opinions, we can hope that exposure to reason and science can assist critical thinking. Our research findings show that considerable numbers of nones accept the science of climate change but not vaccination. They believe in evolution and natural selection but also in the power of crystals and homeopathy.
History teaches us that social trends aren’t linear and reason isn’t a force of nature that inevitably overcomes superstition. For example, Thomas Jefferson expected that Unitarianism would become the prevalent stream in American religion. If, as I believe, we have a mass of the populace who believe in nothing, then the danger is they will fall for anything unless they’re educated in humanist values and ethics. This is especially important in a time of historic confusion.
Our greatest need is to create an aware homo secularis, with a rigorously rationalistic and atheistic point of view and a commitment to church-state separation. We need to produce individuals and leaders with a broad and deep sense of humanist politics and culture, especially of humanism’s achievements in the world—not just in Western culture and history. The hurdles in forming a new mass identity for the humanist and secular movement are formidable at present because of its lack of embedding in social networks. Social trends could be reversed if we fail to educate the indifferent masses of nones, the millions who have lost religion but have found no replacement belief or value system. Unless we create a new world of meaning for them, we could face an analogous situation to that described by Rebecca West in 1930s in Europe the allure of fascism “to the mindless, traditionless, possessionless.”
At this moment it’s crucial for us to remember that the humanist movement is based on optimism about the human condition and the idea of progress. Obscurantism, anti-intellectualism, fearmongering, and spreading doom and gloom are bad and dangerous church ideas. Those ideas make people anxious with apocalyptic prophecies about acknowledged problems such as radiation, GMOs, and climate change makes people more likely to turn to individuals and groups offering certainty and external supernatural assistance. We have to valorize the collective intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge of the human species and the value of advances in science and technology. Both secular and scientific values were entrenched within the Enlightenment project of emancipating humanity and actualizing the highest human potentials through diffusion of knowledge. These goals, in turn, became linked to the quest for liberty, freedom of thought, and popular sovereignty, and thus democracy. The triadic relationship of humanist values, scientific literacy, and social and economic progress must remain the “worldly” focus of our struggle today.
Humanists have a duty to counter the current powerful cultural narrative of negativism and pessimism, which maintains that for decades now the world has been in a state of escalating crisis, decline, and suffering. That vision, along with original sin, is the stock-in-trade of religious fundamentalism and messianic thought.
In fact, as Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now) and Michael Shermer (Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia) have explained in their recent books, we live in good times. The present might not be perfect, but the good old days were dreadful. Most of you reading this live much more pleasant and longer lives than your ancestors thanks to the innovations brought about by the scientific and medical advances and the political and social revolutions of the past three centuries.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I hope I maintained context integrity in the portions of this post that are excerpts from my not yet published blog containing an excerpt from the November / December issue of the 2019 Humanist</p>February 22, 2020 at 7:21 am #322848@ibelieveinlogicParticipant
I accept the best definition of religion is that our philosophy for living our life, our approach to living our life, is our religion.February 22, 2020 at 9:43 am #322856
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Bob,succinct and well put.</p>February 27, 2020 at 1:44 am #323317
Hey Lausten what are you talking about non religious prejudice. I am non religious with a question: how can there be prejudice about something that does not exist outside the religious writings.March 26, 2020 at 11:18 pm #325023
@lausten I love your reasoning comments and replies. But, do you ever consider recusing yourself based on your Catholic training from certain threads?March 27, 2020 at 8:25 am #325044
I love your reasoning comments and replies. But, do you ever consider recusing yourself based on your Catholic training from certain threads?
Thanks Hal. Glad we’ve come to understand each other better.
No, I don’t consider recusing myself. I was born into Protestantism, had a heathen lifestyle as a young man, returned to church after settling down, then started reading more. I figure that’s all valuable input.March 27, 2020 at 11:45 am #325050@vincelwrnc8Participant
As a rejoinder to first Hal, and then to Bob I tracked down some things I wrote some years ago and pasted them below. Rather than compose new comments, I’ll use the ones I’ve picked here because I spent some time thinking about and composing them. Thank you in advance for your patience.
First, from a document listed as SHARPS on my hard drive, it has a creation date of 1/18/18. I never did send it to SI.
“Before I present my critique of the article and the idea presented by David Tyler and Gary Bakker I present my bone fides, such as they are. I’ve been a subscriber to Skeptical Inquirer for almost the entire existence of that publication, and I consider myself a rational skeptic and a secular humanist. I am agnostic, or to those that may be interested in discussing belief and faith, I call myself a “true agnostic.” That is, while my personal conclusion is that there is nothing in any existing religious heritage that does not reflect strictly human wishes, desires, and truisms, it is not impossible that there is something that exists which may resemble some of the reflections and contemplations of man down through the ages. I say it is not impossible, though I, like many others, do not see any imperative for the necessity of God. Also, for me, there is the fact that just as there is no defensible proof for the existence of a god, there likewise is no definitive proof of the non-existence of that possibility. To my way of thinking atheists are just as guilty of belief in the absence of proof as the most devout theist. For me personally, true agnosticism is the only intellectually honest position. It is not a conceit, or a dodge, and I didn’t realize until writing this that it is also exquisitely rational.
I disagree with the authors that the term SHARPS will be perceived by the general public as less arrogant and aggressive as the authors presume, and doubt that the term will remain, once absorbed within the public discussion, within the bounds of the idea they are attempting to mid-wife. Like any other idea, or term, or initiative, it will take on something of a life of its own. And like our living children, it may not end up in a place that fulfills our most cherished hopes and desires.
A similar debate has been going on within the political left for at least fifteen years or longer. With the successful campaign of the political right to turn the word liberal into a term of derision, the search has been on for a new political umbrella term under which to collect the dispirited and beleaguered liberals. I am one. My parents were liberals, and expressed that stance to their children and to their friends and neighbors. When I became aware of this re-branding effort I first went to my Webster’s dictionary and looked up the entry for liberalism. In my edition, at 2c: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties. That definition accurately and fully describes my political beliefs and positions – to this day. Yet, it can’t be denied that in the American lexicon at least, association with that term is now linked (rightly or wrongly) with the excesses of big government, cronyism, and the other corruptions that always attend a political majority that would control the levers of power over a period of decades, while the conservatives wandered in the wilderness, as it has be memorialized.
The editorials and position papers I read were posted on a self-proclaimed progressive web site, and if you haven’t had the experience, let me just say that there is no firm agreement on just what it means to be progressive, or what political wish list should most animate a progressive movement. Though there are many there like myself that refer to the root word progress in our understanding of progressivism, there are also many that claim the progressive mantle that are devout religionists, or mystics, or spiritualists, or animists, or many other adherents and dabblers in a variety of paranormal nonsense. It was there that I first heard the term brights, and my first reaction was also one of recoil. Within the community that participates on that progressive site are also many proclaimed atheists, and many of those are what I consider militant atheists. That form of militancy will never result in any progress towards political civility, nor will it endear itself to those it wishes to persuade.
So far, these objections I’ve articulated might seem minor, or just a matter of differing opinion, but there is a more basic question I have concerning this initiative. The authors state that there is no specific philosophical viewpoint. I’ll rebut that this claim represents a social blind spot. The authors mention several times pooling a collective consciousness in order to reach a critical mass. If there is no philosophical viewpoint or goal, then to what end is this critical mass directed? It will also be very difficult to reach that critical mass when the entire effort is, at its base exclusive, rather than inclusive. Will the authors deny that there are many fine, and effective scientists and researchers that also maintain deeply spiritual beliefs?
Since I have been a very appreciative reader of Skeptical Inquirer for all of my adult life I am well versed in the perennial lamentations over the stubborn persistence of supernaturalism, paranormalism, scientific illiteracy, and magical thinking. I’ve often wondered just how consistent over the entire age of man the percentage of spiritualists, atheists, and agnostics really is. I know that my agnosticism is a minority view, as is atheism, and I do not believe that even this uncritical mass originated with the advent of the age of enlightenment. If there is one trait that attends most all true atheists and agnostics it is the determination to hold to our conclusions in the face of overwhelming majority opposition to those conclusions. The capacity for independent and contrary thought; and so I suggest that convening counsels for all those isms contained within the acronym SHARPS may end up like trying to herd cats. Nature on PBS informs me that all cats but the African Lion are solitary, independent creatures.”
Next, an unfinished piece, where I once again tried to put into words some thoughts that had been banging around in my head for most of my life. On my hard drive I titled it “New Religion.”
“March 5, 2002
It was more than a year ago that I wrote the following passage.
IN THE BEGINNING …
The question, and it has always been just one question, is, why ? It is an alone thing every one of us asks ourselves, and that which we all ask together. Death puts the universality to the question. Why this, then oblivion? How, why, do I end ?
At this point in human time the question is to us as pressing and pervasive as it ever was. No tool we have yet devised nor angle of attack applied to the question has yielded a definitive answer. Secular rational reasoning has not forever disproved the possibility of a “creator” or “a higher other”. Religious or faith-based thought has likewise never proved the existence of the human soul or a benign creator nor even the necessity of either idea. Human inquisitiveness is alive with vitality on the edges of our understanding of the cosmos and of living things, and we are being showered with bits of new realizations that, at turns support then deny both those opposing views of existence.
And in the midst of this mounting philosophic brouhaha, we are becoming. Well, we are becoming large, certainly. One result of this is that we are also becoming- and I really resist using this word, but I can’t summon another more generic one- connected. Economically, environmentally, biologically, as well as in real-time communications, we are all feeling our connectedness. With a sense of alarm we realize that our size amplifies our potential to do great harm, either maliciously or by unforeseen consequences of well-intentioned but ill-planned actions.
How we get from here to where we are going next will be forever bound with our answer to the first question- why ? The question needs a new answer, an answer that speaks not to what possibly is unknowable, but to that mix of being and becoming that we call
“That was meant to be the one page introduction or statement of purpose for a full-fledged work concerning the function of religious systems as organizing and directional forces in human development. I also meant to show the inevitability of such organizational ideas and therefore the need to forge a new statement of purpose and yes, belief.
It can be very difficult to maintain a life of skepticism, agnosticism, or atheism today in the United States. I am not in danger of doubting the truth of my conclusions concerning the nature of existence, but I must co-exist in a society descended from a tradition of supernaturalism. After rejecting the Catholic system that I was raised in, the first realization that I had was this: as it exists, the western monotheistic tradition dilutes or even takes away the individual and collective will to act. By granting ultimate responsibility for continued existence and final authority of truth and goodness to a supreme intervening god, we blunt our ability to adapt to the changing circumstances of our existence.
It is impossible to deny that a creator or superior being could exist and be aware of our existence, but it is not a logical or necessary consequence that such an entity should be benevolent and wont to intervene in our affairs. This is a fundamental link in the chain of western religious tradition, a link that I believe was forged in the fire of evolving cultural necessity. This tradition, in its earliest form and continuing through its development, instructs its followers to modify their behavior in order to know the mind and mercy of god. Resist the tendencies to hate, destroy, lust, steal, and covet wealth and worldly possessions, for god’s true purpose and will is superbly just and good, and the light of his contemplation will scorch and obliterate a human life given over to those base behaviors.
Thus this tradition irreversibly linked the first question of why ? with the everyday necessity of how do we live ?. There is no doubt that the humane and workable ethics, morals, and the socially responsible behavior of this religious tradition have been beneficial to the cultures it helped evolve. But this tradition has been an effective force only as long as it has been believable in the main. As long as the idea or ideas supported a coherent operant philosophy in individuals, then consensus was possible. When the logical inconsistencies of the system became apparent to a majority of individuals within the culture, consensus disintegrated. However, the need for a coherent, directional belief system remains.”
I never did pursue very persistently writing my treatise. I realized what I was attempting was merely a restatement of my particular own flavor of secular humanism, and that I’m not a well-read academician, nor a philosophical savant. If I fancied that I had any originality of thought, I probably would have discovered during the process and not wanting to be accused of plagiarism, that I was self-deceived.March 27, 2020 at 1:55 pm #325068
Hey Lausten what are you talking about non religious prejudice. I am non religious with a question: how can there be prejudice about something that does not exist outside the religious writings. — Hal
I just listened to this one in the shop last night. I’ve studying Haidt for a bit now and in this speech he takes Dawkins on directly. He’s lecturing some people who have read his stuff, so I’m not sure if that will make it less understandable for you or not. Anyway, he’s saying there has been much work in neuro-science in recent decades, showing how we are led by our emotions, our DNA, our instincts, but somehow we process all that into a “belief” that we use our rational minds to make real choices that are really justified.
Applying this to religion, the new theories are that the way religion was used to help groups survive affected our evolution, so not everyone can just stop believing. To many, it would be like stopping belief in drinking water. It wouldn’t kill them like that would, but it would be just as illogical to them.
Not sure what brought this thread back to life, but I skimmed the long OP. I also skimmed Vince’s post and could not find a theme there.
One little comment on what you said about United Methodists. Yes, they did vote to restrict LGBTQi freedoms in their church, but that was a very close vote and it says more about their presence in places like Africa than it does about anyone you might meet in America who is UM. They have an odd parliamentary system for determining what God thinks. They were going to talk about splitting at this year’s convention, but that is now on hold.
- This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by Lausten.
April 1, 2020 at 10:25 am #325376
- This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by Lausten.
Sounds nice, but you know today you’ll get a resounding Fuck That from Republican, Libertarians and the Faith Blinded.
Haven’t you hear, ME FIRST is the core faith of today’s right wing.
The future don’t matter one iota to the lying crumb bums.
And when you say humans have hundreds of years, I do hope you are meaning that philosophically as opposed to literally.
For those who appreciate Earth processes and hold onto their respect for Physical Reality over what’s unfolding within our EGO CENTRIC MINDSCAPES – it seems that expecting us to be around next century about his time, becomes ever more vanishingly tiny. Hell, next 50 years will see radical regression like humanity has never known. You can bet your emergency supplies that our society won’t be around by the time my fresh baby grandson reaches adulthood.
This is just the first wave, there are other biological surprises brewing out there in the crowded market places; and melting permafrost; and medical trash heaps; amongst other places. Not to mention the increasing challenging farming seasons ahead.
But than, here’s a vital secret that the Brainwashed – Faith Blinded – Totalitarian Republican masses have managed to MemoryWipe and deny:
Weather and Climate and our Biosphere’s Health matters a hell of a lot more than Profits and EGO and imagined Gods in the long haul.April 1, 2020 at 10:27 am #325377
Bringing it back to Earth Centrism. 🙂
Oh and I find Pinker is an excellent example of someone lost within his mindscape.
He’s become a performer more than a thinker.
And when one is in control of all sides of the story one get say anything one likes, especially when they’ve crammed their heads with all sort of discombobulated knowledge, the audience is unfamiliar with.
He comes across to me as thinking his explanations create reality – rather than focusing on his explanations chasing reality. But than when one becomes a professional performer, one must consider the audience and manipulate their thinking and feelings like any good playwright or performer learns to do.
- This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Citizenschallenge-v.3.
April 1, 2020 at 10:43 am #325379
- This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Citizenschallenge-v.3.
says more about their presence in places like Africa
Would you care to unpack that one a little?
Christian homophobes are spreading their hate in South Africa
Christina Engela writes from South Africa
The fundamentalist assault on equality, tolerance and Constitutional protection of human rights in South Africa comes mainly from evangelical churches based in this country, but which often have close ties to local and foreign church groups or societies which share a common intolerant fundamentalist view on matters such as abortion, gay rights and theocracy.
Prime examples of such hate groups in South Africa are Christian Action Network, which is based in Cape Town and whose figurehead, “Dr” Peter Hammond, is involved with radical US religious right groups such as the ICCP (International Church Council Project), which consists of a main committee, and smaller committees which include foreign leaders of churches from around the world. The ICCP is tied into the US Religious Right through its leaders.
The International Church Council Project (ICCP) An American body replete with names like Dr. Jay Grimstead, D.Min., Found. Dir. Coalition on Revival, Dr. R.J. Rushdoony, Ph.D., President, Council of Chalcedon on its board (now deceased and replaced by his son) – along with Peter Hammond of CAN in little old South Africa. These people are leading figures in what is known as the “Great Commission Church Movement” This shows me that the US Religious Right has been pulling the puppet strings right here in South Africa for at least 20 years now.
TheNation _ com/article/archive/its-not-just-uganda-behind-christian-rights-onslaught-africa/
It’s Not Just Uganda: Behind the Christian Right’s Onslaught in Africa
For years now, evangelical activists from the United States have been speaking out against homosexuality and cheering on antigay legislation all over Africa.
By Nathalie Baptiste and Foreign Policy In Focus
APRIL 4, 2014
sxpolitics _ org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/colonizingafricanvaluespra _ pdf
Colonizing African Values 2012
How the U.S. Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa
A PUBLICATION OF POLITICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES BY KAPYA JOHN KAOMA
The Uganda Story
Rev. Kapya Kaoma, Contributor
Project Director at Political Research Associates
The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011
link : PoliticalResearch _ org/bio/kapya-kaoma
The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011
- This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Citizenschallenge-v.3.
April 1, 2020 at 12:43 pm #325383
- This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Citizenschallenge-v.3.
says more about their presence in places like Africa — Lausten
Would you care to unpack that one a little? — CC
Briefly, because it’s complicated. You’re right about the influence of evangelicals on Africa. I’ve posted about “The Family” so I won’t review what we both know. But why is Africa accepting of that influence? A couple reasons; there are more people who are even further along on the fundamentalist spectrum than evangelicals are, and there are governments that are even more corrupt than ours. The influence then was for Americans to go over there and teach them the techniques they were using over here to exploit that fundamentalism. It doesn’t work as well over here because we have more consistent education and information across our continent. It was not quite as visible of a campaign with the Methodist because they weren’t going over there and making new connections with dictators, they just went to the Methodist churches that were already there. Due to the history of how churches were built there, by splitting off a new one once one had been established, there is a wide reaching network to facilitate communication, even across borders.
To them, most of them anyway, I’m sure it seemed just and right. They saw countries over there with laws against homosexuality, and they wanted those laws, so they saw them as people to partner with. They shared their ideas about what God wanted and how to organize and recruit members. The parliamentary system in the UMC was not equipped to handle it. The votes that matter are the ones that happen in the international conference every 4 years, and they gamed that system. There are no requirements that those votes are the will of the congregations, except vague statements about “discernment”.April 1, 2020 at 3:05 pm #325387
@citizenschallengev3 Thank you for the introduction to your blogging background. I too am writing a website/blog, not published yet about “the nones” enter the nones into your browser search bar. They are a group big as the evangelicals or state side Catholics. My thought is to organize this group called the nones, I have just started a meetup group to try. One goal is to find and support politicians, some claiming to be an atheist to run on reason, science, and secular values. People don’t like voting for atheists.
After close to 10 years my site is not ready to publish yet but, I have become a WordPress expert. I started the blog with a name “beforehumanhistory, referring to the time of a few hundred thousand years before we invented writing and Christians morphed into the official state religion of the Catholic church.
I notice mindscape frequently in your posts/replies. It reads like mindscape is becoming your platitude.April 3, 2020 at 11:04 am #325526
testingApril 3, 2020 at 4:35 pm #325549@write4uParticipant
I believe Anil Seth would agree with the term “mindscape” as part of his hypothesis of consciousness being a “controlled hallucination” which is the creation of “mindscapes” or “best guessess” of the nature of external sensory stimuli.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.