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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 08:21AM

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/05/americans-religion-rightwing-politics-decline

Fewer than half of Americans belong to a house of worship, a new study shows, but religion – and Christianity in particular – continues to have an outsize influence in US politics, especially because it is declining faster among Democrats than Republicans.

Just 47% of the US population are members of a church, mosque or synagogue, according to a survey by Gallup, down from 70% two decades ago – in part a result of millennials turning away from religion but also, experts say, a reaction to the swirling mix of rightwing politics and Christianity pursued by the Republican party.

The evidence comes as Republicans in some states have pursued extreme “Christian nationalist” policies, attempting to force their version of Christianity on an increasingly uninterested public.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 09:08AM


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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 09:11AM


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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 09:43AM


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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 01:59PM

Malthus was wrong in 1798, just as the JWs were wrong in 1914 and 1975, Paul Ehrlich in 1968, and as Harold Camping was wrong 1994, 2005, and 2011. Corrupted science or bad theology: six of one to a half-dozen of the other (on a scale of one to a hundred).

How many of you are old enough to have been told, decades ago, that you were in "the last days?" I'm old enough to remember when "the science" warned us about an impending ice age. What changed? The science? The politics? The special interests' financial agendae? Fear sells all over the ideological spectrum, be it survivalist provisions or a "Green New Deal"

"The world's future rests upon your generation's shoulders." Meanwhile, let a million Solyndras bloom!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 02:43PM

caffiend Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Malthus was wrong in 1798,

Are you confident about that? He wrote that better technology would result in greater population, stagnation over time in workers' real wages, and the depletion of natural resources. In his famous words, "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man."

What in that is factually incorrect?


------------------------
> just as the JWs were
> wrong in 1914 and 1975, Paul Ehrlich in 1968, and
> as Harold Camping was wrong 1994, 2005, and 2011.
> Corrupted science or bad theology: six of one to a
> half-dozen of the other (on a scale of one to a
> hundred).

Yeah, there you go again. Religious thinkers are the same as economists and scientists with whom you disagree. You would have us believe there is no difference in their logic, their use of evidence, and their predictions. Malthus was no wiser than the JWs; Ehrlich no more rigorous than Camping.

It doesn't work that way. A scientist may be wrong, but her methodology is substantially more credible than those of JWs or radio evangelists. And the scientists, Malthus more than Ehrlich, may well win this argument.


------------------
> I'm
> old enough to remember when "the science" warned
> us about an impending ice age.

Would you tell us more about those predictions? I have read some of those old books warning of nuclear winter but are you talking about something else?


------------------------
> What changed? The
> science? The politics? The special interests'
> financial agendae?

Uh, the facts changed. New data demonstrated a high correlation between human consumption of resources and global temperature. Do you think scientists are wrong to change their views when confronted by new facts?


-------------
> Fear sells all over the
> ideological spectrum, be it survivalist provisions
> or a "Green New Deal"

You see what you do here? You began this post by criticizing Malthus (who appears increasingly correct), you tie him and other scientists (who may be wrong) to lunatic Christians as if they were in some way comparable. Then you spin that conflation into an attack on a "Green New Deal" that isn't even on the table.

That's some pretty sloppy thinking. The main difference between science and religion is the more general willingness of the former to adjust its thinking (and acknowledge mistakes) when confronted with new facts. That you continue to deny those facts--the reality of anthropogenic climate change--is unfortunate.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 03:56PM

https://climatefeedback.org/claimreview/1977-coming-ice-age-time-magazine-cover-is-a-fake/#:~:text=This%20meme%20utilizes%20a%20widely%20circulated%20fake%20image,the%20understanding%20of%20climate%20scientists%20at%20the%20time.


CLAIM
When the exact same group of 'experts' who claimed it was global cooling in 1977 now claim it's global warming you can easily see why I am skeptical
VERDICT

SOURCE: Anonymous, Facebook, 11 Dec. 2019

DETAILS
Factually Inaccurate: The 1977 Time magazine cover shown in this image is fake and it is not true that climate science predicted global cooling in the 1970s.
KEY TAKE AWAY
This meme utilizes a widely circulated fake image purporting to show a 1977 Time magazine story titled "How To Survive The Coming Ice Age". The cover is actually from 2007, for a story titled "The Global Warming Survival Guide". While a claim of global cooling did appear a couple times in the 1970s in popular media, that did not reflect the understanding of climate scientists at the time.


The broader claim about climate science also does not match the reality of the 1970s. Two real magazine stories are sometimes cited: a 1974 Time article titled “Another Ice Age?” and a 1975 Newsweek article titled “The Cooling World”. But as the author of that Newsweek story noted in a 2014 post, these didn’t accurately reflect the whole of 1970s climate science.

Scientists in the 1970s were studying rising aerosol pollution—tiny particles produced by things like coal-burning plants without pollution controls—that reflects incoming sunlight. Using early climate models, they were working to quantify the cooling influence of this type of pollution. Given that aerosol pollution was rapidly increasing at the time, some studies even warned that its cooling effect could grow if that behavior continued. It did not, however, as pollution controls were introduced. And those same climate models were being used to quantify the warming caused by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which was seen as the dominant trend.1

At the same time, scientists were recovering the first ice core records of 100,000-year-long glacial (or “ice age”) periods, enabling them to understand how slow-changing cycles in Earth’s orbit triggered those events in the past. Since those cycles play out over tens of thousands of years, this information did not have direct implications for modern climate change. However, this research was conflated with near-term climate research by some media stories.

While the scientific understanding of human-caused global warming progressed significantly in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the connection between fossil fuel burning and global warming can be traced back as far as the 1890s. Research published in the 1970s shows that this connection continued to be studied. A 1975 paper published in the journal Science2, for example, projected continued warming totalling 0.8°C by 2000—only slightly more than actually occurred. And a prominent US National Academy of Sciences report published in 19793 estimated the warming power of CO2 at 3°C (±1.5°C) for a doubling of the concentration, a number that is still consistent with current scientific understanding.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 04:04PM

I would hope that caffiend isn't naive enough to fall for that, so I renew my request that he tell us what exactly he has in mind.


ETA: Science by meme is no better than politics by meme.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2021 04:05PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 06:05PM

What about love by the light of the meme?

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 05:13PM

The dogma that Mankind is a blight upon Earth. (America especially).

Re: Malthus' summary, "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man." Economist Julian Simon bet against biologist Paul Ehrlich who was predicting imminent commodities shortages. The prices, adjusted for inflation, continue to fall. You remember "peak oil," don't you--the fear that we'd exhaust Earth's oil deposits before Y2K?

https://www.humanprogress.org/revisiting-the-simon-ehrlich-wager-40-years-on/

"Simon...thought like an economist...Instead of the quantity of resources, he looked at the prices of resources. He saw resource scarcity as a temporary challenge that can be solved through greater efficiency, increased supply, development of substitutes, and so on. The relationship between prices and innovation...is dynamic. Relative scarcity leads to higher prices, higher prices create incentives for innovations, and innovations lead to abundance."

A few vintage "the sky is falling" predictions for your nostalgic enjoyment. More important is that the narrative has changed:

https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions/

(Note that images of the articles are included.)


I stand by my thesis that "fear sells," and add that it will be ideologically and politically exploited. Or (horse, meet cart) originated ideologically/politically/financially/corporately. Religious doomsayers target their suckers; the secularists, theirs. What they share is the pursuit of power, prestige, and profit.

CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky MD confessed to a "sense of impending doom." Oh, wait--that's a different crisis.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 05:43PM

Who stands to gain if it's just a "hoax?"

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 05:52PM

It's not that Malthus was wrong. He was conceptually correct however very limited. The Malthusian problem has been shown to be impactful in some small scope situations. When applied globally, it gets dominated by a lot of other impacts so it's not useful as a predictive tool.

The question that keeps it relevant is this: As the world becomes effectively "smaller", i.e. more interdependent, through technology, will we increasingly find that limited scope phenomena, like the Malthusian problem, start to have vastly more global impacts?

The answer to that, I suspect, will be known in hindsight.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 06:27PM

caffiend Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The dogma that Mankind is a blight upon Earth.
> (America especially).

The history of biology is replete with examples of species that destroyed their own environments and rendered themselves extinct. That's not "dogma," it's science. If you are going to argue that humans are exempt from that pattern, you'll need to explain why.

Since the burden is on you to produce evidence for why humans are not like other organic species, the question arises where you got the notion in the first place that people will not irrevocably foul their petri dish. Could it be that you once read a book saying that humans were unique and that some superhuman force would save the earth from their destruction?

Because, Kiddo, that's neither science nor reason. It's faith.


-----------------
> Re: Malthus' summary, "The power of population is
> indefinitely greater than the power in the earth
> to produce subsistence for man."

What should follow here is an explanation for why Malthus was wrong. But rather than address him and his theory, you immediately shift to an attack on random people who were NOT Malthus.

Do you not think that bait-and-switch gambit rather obvious?


--------------
> Economist Julian
> Simon bet against biologist Paul Ehrlich who was
> predicting imminent commodities shortages. The
> prices, adjusted for inflation, continue to fall.
> You remember "peak oil," don't you--the fear that
> we'd exhaust Earth's oil deposits before Y2K?

Although he was wrong in the dating of his prognostication, Ehrlich may well prove correct in the long run. But that's neither here nor there.

The point remains that you manifestly want to challenge lesser thinkers than Malthus. Moreover, you aren't comfortable staying with that man's explicit warning. Instead, you stick in a word--"imminent"--that he never used. So not only have you switched opponents, you've also switched targets.

The fallacy in your economics is equally conspicuous. There are lots of civilizations that overtaxed their agricultural resources and then collapsed. Within that overall pattern, however, there were periods of feast and famine. So rising and falling commodity prices were superimposed on a longer-term Malthusian dynamic. And your focus on oil is inapposite. The constraint, as anyone who knows energy markets could tell you, is not the volume of hydrocarbons that exist around the world but rather the effect of that form of energy on the overall environment.


-------------
> "Simon...thought like an economist...Instead of
> the quantity of resources, he looked at the prices
> of resources. He saw resource scarcity as a
> temporary challenge that can be solved through
> greater efficiency, increased supply, development
> of substitutes, and so on. The relationship
> between prices and innovation...is dynamic.
> Relative scarcity leads to higher prices, higher
> prices create incentives for innovations, and
> innovations lead to abundance."

That only works if governments eliminate externalities. In this case, the environmental costs of burning fossil fuels are not captured in the price of gas at the pump. That depresses the price and reduces the incentive to innovate and shift from oil to other sources of energy. Am I correct in believing you oppose carbon taxes and other means of raising the price of fuel to one that accounts for its full costs? Because any economic textbook will tell you that inaction in such a situation will result in overconsumption and environmental destruction.

You thus insist on vitiating market forces and then assure us that market forces will save the day. Inconsistent, that.


----------------
> A few vintage "the sky is falling" predictions for
> your nostalgic enjoyment. More important is that
> the narrative has changed:
>
> https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-faile
> d-eco-pocalyptic-predictions/

Ah yes, a smorgasboard of mistaken prognostications, most of which I have never heard of and hence do not care about. Have your heroes, political and religious, ever made any false predictions? I venture that they have.

What I'm hoping that you can articulate, again, is a reasonable explanation for why humans are inherently incapable of ruining their own environment. Can you provide that?


------------------
> I stand by my thesis that "fear sells," and add
> that it will be ideologically and politically
> exploited. Or (horse, meet cart) originated
> ideologically/politically/financially/corporately.
> Religious doomsayers target their suckers; the
> secularists, theirs. What they share is the
> pursuit of power, prestige, and profit.

I didn't question your assertion that "fear sells." I asked if you could explain why Malthus must be wrong.


--------------
> CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky MD confessed to a
> "sense of impending doom." Oh, wait--that's a
> different crisis.

That, Kiddo, is another bright shiny object.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 06:54PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
"The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is a non-profit libertarian think tank founded by the political writer Fred L. Smith Jr. on March 9, 1984, in Washington, D.C., to advance principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. CEI focuses on a number of regulatory policy issues, including business and finance, labor, technology and telecommunications, transportation, food and drug regulation, and energy and environment in which they have promoted climate change denial."

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/competitive-enterprise-institute/
"Overall, we rate the Competitive Enterprise Institute Questionable based on far-right bias, promotion of propaganda, use of poor sources, lack of transparency with funding, and a general rejection of scientific consensus.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a nonprofit that is funded through donations. Up until 2006, Exxon-Mobil donated 2 million dollars to the CEI. The CEI does not disclose donors, however, they are funded heavily by the Bradley Foundation and the Koch Family as well as numerous gas/oil companies such as Amoco and Texaco.
Editorially, the primary purpose of the CEI is to mislead on climate change. They have been criticized by scientists for publishing misleading information such as this: Scientist to CEI: You Used My Research To “Confuse and Mislead”. According to Ballotpedia, the “CEI believes that scientific consensus on climate change and global warming were politically rather than scientifically motivated.” Finally, the CEI has a long history of lobbying for the tobacco industry and since 2011 has advocated for the e-cigarette industry."

https://www.factcheck.org/2006/05/scientist-to-cei-you-used-my-research/
"
One of the ads says research shows “The Antarctic ice sheet is getting thicker, not thinner…Why are they trying to scare us?” Actually, scientists say increased snowfall in Antarctica’s interior is evidence that global warming is taking place. Scientists also say that the ice sheet is melting at the ocean’s edge and a recent report says it is shrinking overall.

The ads drew a protest from a University of Missouri professor who says they are “a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public about the global warming debate.” He said one of them misuses a study he published in Science magazine last year on the Antarctic ice sheet. An editor of Science also said the ads misrepresent the findings of that study as well as a second study on Greenland’s glaciers.

The second CEI ad notes that carbon dioxide (CO2) is “essential to life,” and says, “they call it pollution. We call it life.” That ad fails to mention that too much CO2 can cause global temperatures to rise or that there is more of it in the atmosphere than any time during the last 420,000 years.

CEI, which gets just over 9 percent of its budget from Exxon Mobil Corporation, said it was only trying to make sure the public hears “both sides of the story.”


https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
"The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is a advocacy group based in Washington DC with long ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns and more recently to climate change denial." Many of its claims have been debunked. Here are a few examples related to climate change:

Annenberg Political Fact Check, "Scientist to CEI: You Used My Research To "Confuse and Mislead," May 26, 2006.
"Thank you for emitting", Real Climate, May 18, 2006
News Bureau, University of Missouri-Columbia, "MU Professor Refutes National Television Ads Downplaying Global Warming: Engineering Professor Curt Davis says TV Spots are Misrepresenting His Research," May 19, 2006.
{read the whole thing}

https://www.mediamatters.org/wall-street-journal/what-media-should-know-about-competitive-enterprise-institutes-regulation
{again, read the whole article}

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Posted by: csuprovograd ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 11:40AM

I would suspect that there are other and possibly greater reasons why religion is losing it’s lustre.

But, as always, never let the whole story get in the way of clickbait that supports the popular narrative.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 07:17PM

I agree. Religion has been doing itself in for a long time. I think that is fueling the desperation of the religious right and making them more aggressive. So I see it all as kind of the opposite. They are acting out as they lose their grip as the rest of the country doesn't play the game because they just have better things to do.

What I've witnessed with all the multitudes I am milling through on a daily basis is that most people don't think about or care about religion. It's not on the radar. There is no "falling away" from religion because most of those not into it were already on the ground.

But for the religious right religion is a power tool.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 07:45PM

One of the best ways to discredit a religion is to give it political power. If you look at Iran, for instance, the Mullahs have proved their avarice and cynical ruthlessness so frequently and for so long that most of the country's people absolutely detest the leaders and their religion.

That doesn't mean ambitious religions shouldn't try to gain a dominant position, just that they had better not fail. For if they do, they'll soon discover that a lot of previously committed believers have lost faith due to the attempted merger of God and Greed.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 02:07PM

that's why 'Follow the Prophet' & 'Stay the Course' resonate in the minds of Uber TBMs & other fanatics.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 02:45PM

‘Cut and run’ was more my thing

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 02:28PM

I think the premise of the study, which essentially defines "religion"/"faith" as membership in a "house of worship" is misleadingly incorrect (and has been incorrect going back to most of the twentieth century).

It may well be true that during previous American historical eras (I would say: up to about the end of WWII, plus the next decade or so of postwar years), membership in a "house of worship" COULD have been a fairly good indicator of American religiosity...

...but regarding religion, the end of WWII in the United States also (in retrospect) signaled the beginnings of a long historical period of change (which we are still going through), during which, for a good share of the country, religion became much more centered on individual religious expressions, rather than congregational assemblies for those activities.

Sociable types of people continued their congregational activities as before, but many other people opted instead to study and to express their personal religious feelings in more individual, or "individualized," ways: studying and praying alone, or as part of a small, informal group...attending talks...doing yoga with religious intention, individual acts of charity, etc.

I think it is true that for a large chunk of the American population the preferred forms of religious expression have changed quite a bit, but quantifying this change requires much more sophisticated inquiry than simply checking membership totals in churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2021 08:20PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: oldpobot ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 07:45PM

Perhaps America is starting to catch up with the rest of the Western world in its flight from organised Christianity. The pervasive religiosity of America has been in stark contrast to the increasingly niche position of religion in other societies.

Stands to reason that young people are calling it out if Christianity becomes heavily identified with a reactionary (and ugly) political affiliation.

I imagine its pretty hard to develop and nurture a strong faith in a young mind if it comes with a prescription of uncool anti-gay racist and sexist positions.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 09:35PM

       

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 09:39PM

That mannequin does look suspiciously like Musk's first wife. . .

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 11:32PM

How can the "Extreme Far" in any political direction have much of an affect on anything? By the time you have significant enough of numbers of people to affect large scale changes in society, then by definition, those in that direction are no longer extreme. They become the center then and in this case, the whole scale moves to the right as it takes yet even more extreme of a political magnitude in the same direction to be anything other than center.... unless you're far left yourself to begin with that is. Those on the left will become more of an extreme fringe as the scale moves to the right, leaving those who chose to stay on the new "extreme left" further behind. If dieing your hair purple became common place in every family, then purple would no longer be an odd hair color. It would be the new normal. It's safe to say that ordinary people are driving people away from faith.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 11:39PM

You should read the article.

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