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The Hazards of Belief

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,242 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Fun paper looking into the effects of covid misinformation in the US.

    Noting that Hannity lied on Fox for longer than Carlson did, the numbers show that cases and deaths are higher where Hannity is more popular than Carlson.

    https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/BFI_WP_202044.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,127 ✭✭✭ Odhinn


    Orban acting the mickey again


    Hungary’s rightwing government looks likely to push through legislation that will end the legal recognition of trans people by defining gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes” and thus making it impossible for people to legally change their gender.
    Trans people and rights activists say the law, which has been introduced into parliament as attention is focused on the coronavirus pandemic, will increase discrimination and intolerance towards trans people. Many will try to leave the country, while those who do not have that chance will face daily humiliations.


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/26/hungary-prepares-to-end-legal-recognition-of-trans-people?CMP=fb_gu&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR1R0uYMCTdCsY33S9s4vexLAsEfHo9GI34byjGQWYChmnB3e6l4KVlQR4w#Echobox=1587909982


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,242 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Survey on what hospital priorities should be, broken down by religious affiliation.

    Turns out that, on average, decision-making by religious people (presumably self-describing as "pro-life") would lead to more death than decision making by non-religious people.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/24/americans-are-divided-by-religion-on-who-should-get-critical-care-if-there-is-a-shortage-of-ventilators/ft_20-04-24_covidventilators/


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    I was listening to the No Dumb Questions podcast today. It was a compilation of discussions with people who are going out of their way to help during C19.

    All great stuff. But the first one in the list struck me as odd. I was only half listening to it. It was a woman who was using charity donations to get food to people who need it - including front line medical workers. So it sounded great.

    Something was off and I wasn't sure what. So I listened again and I got it.

    The public and local restaurants were sending over free food at their own costs to workers who were turning their nose up at it because it was not "kosher".

    So now this woman is setting up this additional charity to get them the food they will deign to eat.

    Fair enough I guess people can and will eat what they will eat. Who am I to judge? But the odd effect of religion hits me all the same. There are people genuinely struggling to eat who need the support of charity. And a charity is being set up to pander to picky eaters who absolutely can afford to eat but their personal hobby makes them uppity about food and to turn up their nose at what is given to them. Food that others in the world would die for. Almost literally.

    Worse it sounds from this woman that due to the complications and certifications around Kosher food, that its more expensive. Which probably means that every charity dollar sent to feed these picky eaters could probably feed two normal eaters.

    She has a go fund me. I won't be using it :) But it is still nice to see small communities like that supporting their own I guess.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    robindch wrote: »
    Survey on what hospital priorities should be, broken down by religious affiliation.

    Turns out that, on average, decision-making by religious people (presumably self-describing as "pro-life") would lead to more death than decision making by non-religious people.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/24/americans-are-divided-by-religion-on-who-should-get-critical-care-if-there-is-a-shortage-of-ventilators/ft_20-04-24_covidventilators/
    I'm not sure what the relevance of the pro-life comment. they are treating people according to medical need. which may mean that fewer people overall survive but the word may is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. if i was ill, given my own health conditions, i know which hospital i would rather be treated in. my life is worth as much as anybody elses.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    I was listening to the No Dumb Questions podcast today. It was a compilation of discussions with people who are going out of their way to help during C19.

    All great stuff. But the first one in the list struck me as odd. I was only half listening to it. It was a woman who was using charity donations to get food to people who need it - including front line medical workers. So it sounded great.

    Something was off and I wasn't sure what. So I listened again and I got it.

    The public and local restaurants were sending over free food at their own costs to workers who were turning their nose up at it because it was not "kosher".

    So now this woman is setting up this additional charity to get them the food they will deign to eat.

    Fair enough I guess people can and will eat what they will eat. Who am I to judge? But the odd effect of religion hits me all the same. There are people genuinely struggling to eat who need the support of charity. And a charity is being set up to pander to picky eaters who absolutely can afford to eat but their personal hobby makes them uppity about food and to turn up their nose at what is given to them. Food that others in the world would die for. Almost literally.

    Worse it sounds from this woman that due to the complications and certifications around Kosher food, that its more expensive. Which probably means that every charity dollar sent to feed these picky eaters could probably feed two normal eaters.

    She has a go fund me. I won't be using it :) But it is still nice to see small communities like that supporting their own I guess.

    to use words like "personal hobby", "picky eaters" is particularly condescending. i thought you were better than that. you ask "Who am I to judge?" but then proceed to do just that


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,332 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    I wonder would vegetarians and vegans behave in the same way?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    I am telling it like I see it. The distinction between me not judging and then "proceeding to do just that" is contextual. In that I would not judge what people eat or why in NORMAL circumstances. And I don't. If your personal hobby involves you eating, or not eating, a particular food then that's great. And I do not see anything condescending about calling it a hobby. That is how I see religion really. Hobbies are great. Mine are no better or worse than theirs. So why would it be condescending?

    The point being that in a time of crisis MY concerns are directed at ensuring people can do things like eat. And under the rubric of "Hazards of Belief" it strikes ME as odd that while some people are struggling to eat AT ALL, that others are just refusing to eat perfectly good food because of what is essentially their hobby. Picky eaters is not condescending in that context. It is entirely accurate. They are being picky about what they eat, in a time when more than usual many people can't eat at all.

    I just know FOR ME if I needed charity to eat I would accept that charity gratefully. To turn away charity and have people invest in even more expensive charity just to pander to something that I could perfectly easily put on hold for a couple of month until the world normalises itself..... well it is not something I would EVER do. Not just because it is throwing charity back in the face of those who offered it.... but also because it takes more food out of the mouths of people who actually need it.... by having more expensive charity sent to me that I do not even need.

    But just like the US parents who watch their own children die of easily managed medical conditions..... their actions make perfect sense given the unsubstantiated nonsense they believe. If you believe the creator of the universe wants you to eat a particular way, you likely will do so. And that is the thread: Hazards of belief.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    smacl wrote: »
    I wonder would vegetarians and vegans behave in the same way?

    most likely they would. not like they would start chomping down on steak and kidney pies. they're just picky eaters really.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,332 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    most likely they would. not like they would start chomping down on steak and kidney pies. they're just picky eaters really.

    So if you refuse to eat anything that might stave off starvation you're de-facto picky? A rather extreme case, but I remember reading accounts of the siege of Peking during the boxer rebellion where the besieged had nothing to eat but dogs. Problem is the dogs had nothing to eat but human remains and a number of people died of starvation rather than eat these particular dogs. Picky or what? ;)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    smacl wrote: »
    So if you refuse to eat anything that might stave off starvation you're de-facto picky? A rather extreme case, but I remember reading accounts of the siege of Peking during the boxer rebellion where the besieged had nothing to eat but dogs. Problem is the dogs had nothing to eat but human remains and a number of people died of starvation rather than eat these particular dogs. Picky or what? ;)

    that seems to be the opinion of some. Not a phrase i would use myself. there are exceptions to kosher rules in matters of life and death so i doubt the people involved were starving to death.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    I am telling it like I see it. The distinction between me not judging and then "proceeding to do just that" is contextual. In that I would not judge what people eat or why in NORMAL circumstances. And I don't. If your personal hobby involves you eating, or not eating, a particular food then that's great. And I do not see anything condescending about calling it a hobby. That is how I see religion really. Hobbies are great. Mine are no better or worse than theirs. So why would it be condescending?

    The point being that in a time of crisis MY concerns are directed at ensuring people can do things like eat. And under the rubric of "Hazards of Belief" it strikes ME as odd that while some people are struggling to eat AT ALL, that others are just refusing to eat perfectly good food because of what is essentially their hobby. Picky eaters is not condescending in that context. It is entirely accurate. They are being picky about what they eat, in a time when more than usual many people can't eat at all.

    I just know FOR ME if I needed charity to eat I would accept that charity gratefully. To turn away charity and have people invest in even more expensive charity just to pander to something that I could perfectly easily put on hold for a couple of month until the world normalises itself..... well it is not something I would EVER do. Not just because it is throwing charity back in the face of those who offered it.... but also because it takes more food out of the mouths of people who actually need it.... by having more expensive charity sent to me that I do not even need.

    But just like the US parents who watch their own children die of easily managed medical conditions..... their actions make perfect sense given the unsubstantiated nonsense they believe. If you believe the creator of the universe wants you to eat a particular way, you likely will do so. And that is the thread: Hazards of belief.

    telling it like it is. I seem to remember the supporters of a particular politician like to employ that phrase.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    most likely they would. not like they would start chomping down on steak and kidney pies. they're just picky eaters really.

    They are. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. They are being picky about what they eat for often personal reasons. You appear to think it condescending to point that out. I do not agree, clearly. Nor am I seeing a reason why I might. It is absolutely perfectly fine to be picky and choosy about what you eat.

    And in fact contrary to your post I suspect many of them WOULD start chomping down on them because many realise that their perfectly ok dietry choices are choices of privilege. And that there are times when it might make sense for the good of others to put those choices on hold temporarily. Your ideal might be that your family eat no meat. Thats great! But if you are starving and struggling to feed your children at all, it might be time to suspend your ideals for a time.

    And many wouldn't make that choice, such is the diversity of our species. Each individual could go either way. Maybe they hold their ideals strongly enough that they are willing to die for them. That's fine too so long as they are not ensuring someone else, like their own kids, pay that price for their personal ideals too.

    However the ratio of those who would to those who would not is likely to be skewed if the group in question believed their dietry choices were mandated by the creator of the universe. Which is the point of my posts above, given the title of the thread. Again: My post is not about judging their choices, but the influence of what they believe about the nature of the universe ON those choices. It's what the thread is about.

    As I said above I can only put myself in that position and if I really needed charity I would likely not throw it back if offered, let alone for paltry reasons like my hobbies. What I personally would never do however is throw it back in favour of more expensive equivalent charity that ensures that the cost of me eating reduces the food available to others.
    that seems to be the opinion of some. Not a phrase i would use myself. there are exceptions to kosher rules in matters of life and death so i doubt the people involved were starving to death.

    I doubt it too. But SOME people probably are. So as I keep saying that FOR ME the idea of being picky about which charity I avail of knowing that one will reduce the charity going to others, is not a choice I could ever make. But again that might change if I believed which one to choose was mandated by my invisible all powerful "friend" in the sky.
    telling it like it is. I seem to remember the supporters of a particular politician like to employ that phrase.

    Sure and I have a beard and so did many horrific dictators. Youre employing a fallacy here quite often used by the occasional theist visitor. It's the old "I do not have to address or rebut what you just said if I can liken it to something someone else said or did instead" fallacy. The old "Oh you are an atheist.... well guess who else was an atheist" canard move. What was it you said above again.... oh yes.... "i thought you were better than that".

    Not to mention the fact that I never actually said "telling it like it is" in the first place :) You imagined that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    well i'm certainly no theist but describing somebodies religion as a hobby is just a deliberate attempt to antogonise. Just telling like it is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    well i'm certainly no theist but describing somebodies religion as a hobby is just a deliberate attempt to antogonise. Just telling like it is.

    I do not see an issue with the description. So no you are not "telling it like it is" you are in fact doing what I ACTUALLY said above before you put words in my mouth which is "telling it like you see it". The phrase I actually used.

    However how I see it is that the word hobby is a word that by definition distinguishes an activity from ones necessary activities or ones career. Activities not done professionally and not for pay. It is a word defined to describe things you do in your free time. Often but not necessarily for pleasure. Often mapping on to trends in society.

    The word is perfectly apt it seems to me and I am not seeing anything condescending about it's use. Rather what the choice of word is NOT doing is affording this particular hobby the elevated levels of feux respect and deference that practitioners of it often demand and which I refuse to give.

    I have met people who think their chosen football team is their life. They live and breath the team and everything about it and dedicate every available moment to it and cherish it deeply. They would sing or stand to songs with their hand on their heart quicker for their team than their own country.

    It's still their hobby too. :) It's what the word means. If the word bothers you then that is your issue, not to be projected out as some dark agenda of Antagonismus you have dreamed up on my behalf.

    On a lighter note: ON the default settings of viewing the website this is the first post on page 666. Yay. At least I assume it's the default given I never changed them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,672 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail


    i stand by what i said. i cant see any other reason for using such a condescending phrase.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,332 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    I don't think it is accurate to label religion as a hobby. A hobby is something done for enjoyment in one's leisure time. Very many people are born into a religion and it is a social obligation that they might not derive any pleasure from. Can't think of many Irish kids looking forward to a good old Mass of a Sunday morning for example.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    i stand by what i said. i cant see any other reason for using such a condescending phrase.

    Except the ones I just gave you. But I admit some people do rather make up motivations, agendas and intentions for others even in the face of THEM saying what their own ones were.

    I myself missed Psychic on my college course.
    smacl wrote: »
    I don't think it is accurate to label religion as a hobby. A hobby is something done for enjoyment in one's leisure time.

    Yes. Leisure time. So that part of the definition fits. Enjoyment, I am led to believe by many theists I've talked to that fits too. "regularly" is another term in the definition in most definitions I have read. That checks out too.

    Here are other aspects I find often in definitions of the word I have read:

    "typically during one's leisure time" check
    "not professionally and not for pay" check
    "Hobbies include collecting themed items and objects" check
    "engaging in creative and artistic pursuits" check
    "encourages acquiring substantial skills and knowledge in that area" check
    " tend to follow trends in society" check
    "A hobby became an activity that is practised regularly and usually with some worthwhile purpose." check I suppose, or at least THEY like to think so.
    "engaged in especially for relaxation" check for many people, admittedly not for all who get so invested in the hobby it actually becomes quite a source of angst for them.

    It seems to fit a hell of a lot more attributes of the definitions I find, than ones it does not. The most arguable one is "enjoyment" and even then it really depends on the religion. I have been, and I loved every minute of it, to a "black soul mass". Absolutely enjoyable experience. But granted as the Muse in the film Dogma says "You Catholics do not celebrate your faith, you mourn it".

    I think it is a hobby. It fits every definition of the word I know. The problem is that we have been somewhat conditioned to elevate it to something more than a mere hobby, to afford it some kind of respect or deference. To the point that you're not MEANT to use accurate and descriptive words for it. Much like theists get uppity on occasion when you call humans "animals". We ARE animals. But they do not like that word because many of them want us to be something more than that. So even though the term fits perfectly, they do not like it. Even some atheists don't. They have been conditioned to think of us humans as "more" or "other" too and the word "animal" does not sit well with them.

    I suspect that the response to the term "hobby", strong enough as it was to become more of a focus than the actual point I was making while using it, has a similar reaction for similar reasons. Even those of us who have no religion or belief in gods STILL have this residual deference to it that makes perfectly accurate words seem more insidious than the are, or were ever intended to be when used.
    smacl wrote: »
    Can't think of many Irish kids looking forward to a good old Mass of a Sunday morning for example.

    I am not sure your children not enjoying YOUR hobby being forced on THEM negates the definition in any context though? No definition of Hobby I have ever seen in fact suggests that it is no longer a hobby if your kids do not like it when they are forced to do it too.

    Watching Manchester United play live in Old Trafford is a hobby, even if you drag your kids along and they are miserable every minute of it :) If your kids hates building model trains, then model train building is still a hobby even if you force your kids to do it with you and they do not "look forward to a good old Build of a Sunday morning" for example. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Had some fun looking into the etymology of the word. I miss posting on boards and how it sends me down rabbit holes I would not have gone done on my own.

    It seems the current usage of the word Hobby came into our language probably around 1816. It was a contraction of the word "hobbyhorse" and came to mean "a favorite pursuit, object, or topic". Again I think Religion fits here. The first and more so the third of those three things.

    What gave me a giggle in the context of religion is that the etymology website suggested that this usage had a connected notion that it was an "activity that doesn't go anywhere." Do I need to say "check" again? :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,127 ✭✭✭ Odhinn


    Realistically, people from certain backgrounds have been - for want of a better word - brainwashed from a very young age about certain foods. The result is not people being "picky", but of revulsion as to what they deem unclean.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    I do not see an issue with the description. So no you are not "telling it like it is" you are in fact doing what I ACTUALLY said above before you put words in my mouth which is "telling it like you see it". The phrase I actually used.

    However how I see it is that the word hobby is a word that by definition distinguishes an activity from ones necessary activities or ones career. Activities not done professionally and not for pay. It is a word defined to describe things you do in your free time. Often but not necessarily for pleasure. Often mapping on to trends in society . . .
    This is an extraordinarily neoliberal view of reality.

    By this test, marriage is a hobby. Begetting and raising children is a hobby. All your relationshiops, all your activities, all your concerns and passions and activities that don't earn you money are hobbies. Everything that makes life worthwhile or meaningful is a hobby, unless it also generates income.

    I don't think this is what "hobby" means. Dictionaries will back me up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    By this test, marriage is a hobby.

    Marriage is a social institution. Just like golf is a sport, and PLAYING golf is a hobby. Religion is a set of unsubstantiated ideas about the nature of the universe so religion itself is not a "hobby" in my definition, but people's engagement with it is. We should be clear on the distinction between a hobby, and the object of that hobby. Model airplanes are not a hobby in themselves. Making them is. Catholics have what is essentially a hobby, replete with club houses.

    What you might have been closer with saying is that the romantic relationship you are having inside a marriage is a hobby. And in quite a lot of ways it is, but it is more a state in which you share your life path, including hobbies, with another person.

    But it should also be noted that labelling something a hobby does not mean that that is ALL it is. Having and loving our children is a biological imperative (as opposed to biological necessity). If you were to feel that the term hobby applies to it, that would not take away from the rest of it at all. Nor does it with religion despite the reactions.
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Everything that makes life worthwhile or meaningful is a hobby, unless it also generates income.

    That one is harder to reply to because it is by definition vague. Mainly because there is no fixed list of things that "make life worthwhile or meaningful". What does it for me, may not do it for you, and vice versa.

    So I would have to narrow it down to a given individual and intimately know what makes their life worthwhile or meaningful before I could answer. But yes, many many many people do derive meaning and worth in their lives from their hobbies. And that is a GOOD thing. Why would it not be?
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I don't think this is what "hobby" means. Dictionaries will back me up.

    Odd that of the 4 people in the discussion therefore, I am the only one who has been citing dictionaries, articles on the word, and etymology sources related to it then, is it not? I listed all the things I found in such sources and how I saw them as fitting the application. No one has pointed to a single element on the list and suggested it was wrong. Why is that?

    Not being wedded to either the word or this application of it, I am more than open to having my usage of it corrected. I live to learn after all (what gives my life meaning and worth, my favourite hobby) But I do not expect that to happen when I am drawing on dictionaries and other people are just mentioning dictionaries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    If we overlook hobby, a kind of horse, and hobby, a kind of bicycle (both marked in my dictionary as obsolete) a hobby is "a favourite occupation or topic, pursued merely for the amusement or interest that it affords, and which is compared to the riding of a toy horse (sense 3)". Pretty much anything you do which has a value (to you) that is more than "amusement or interest" is, by that definition, not a hobby.

    The question of whether you earn money from an activity is irrelevant to the question of whether it's a hobby. Most hobbies are unremunerative, but if you earn money from your hobby it doesn't cease to be a hobby, as long as it's not the money which motivates your pursuit of your hobby, but rather the fact that it amuses or interests you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    You would need to cite your source there as you appear to have cherry picked "sense 3" and left out the remainder. Could you cite the ENTIRE definition please and not just the part that you like?

    That said though I am not seeing anything in the above two paragraphs that negates how I have applied the word. It all appears to fit. "A favourite occupation or topic" for example fits entirely well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    It’s the definition from the Oxford English Dictionary. I’m leaving out the illustrative quotations for each sense of the word, but I can supply them if you want. Definiotions 2 and 3 are straight cross-references to the definitions of other terms. I have bolded these, and then given the other definition in square brackets.
    1. A small or middle-sized horse; an ambling or pacing horse; a pony. Now Historical, archaic, or dialect. In early times hobbies are chiefly referred to as of Irish breed; in later times, also, as Welsh or Scotch.

    2. = hobby-horse n. 2. Obsolete or Historical.

    [Hobby-horse, n. 2: In the morris-dance, and on the stage (in burlesques, pantomimes, etc.), a figure of a horse, made of wickerwork, or other light material, furnished with a deep housing, and fastened about the waist of one of the performers, who executed various antics in imitation of the movements of a skittish or spirited horse; also, the name of this performer in a morris-dance.]

    3. = hobby-horse n. 4

    [Hobby-horse, n. 4: (a) a stick with a horse's head which children bestride as a toy horse; (b) a wooden horse fixed on a ‘merry-go-round’ at a fair; (c) a rocking-horse for the nursery.]

    4. A kind of velocipede, introduced in 1818, on which the rider propelled himself by pushing the ground with the point of each foot alternately: = dandy-horse n. Obsolete exc. Historical.

    5. A favourite occupation or topic, pursued merely for the amusement or interest that it affords, and which is compared to the riding of a toy horse (sense 3); an individual pursuit to which a person is devoted (in the speaker's opinion) out of proportion to its real importance. Formerly hobby-horse n. (sense Compounds 1).

    This is followed by a list of compounds - hobby farm, hobby shop, etc. I’ll spare you these though, again, if you want them, just ask.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Is that the definition from the word "hobby" or the word "hobby horse" there? I do not have an OED subscription so I can not check myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    It seems from searching other sites like this one that you have pasted their definition of "Hobby horse" not "hobby". Which is not helpful. The word Hobby is derived historically form Hobby Horse. But they are no longer the same word at all. So testing someones use of one word, by pasting the definition of a similar related but ultimately DIFFERENT word, is not really going to get us anywhere.

    I already posted and checked a lot from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobby but also:

    https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/hobby

    "An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure."

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hobby

    "an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working"

    https://www.oxfordlearnersdicionaries.com/definition/english/hobby

    "​an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working"

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/hobby?s=t

    "an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation:"

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobby

    "a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation"

    https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/hobby

    "something that you enjoy doing when you are not working"

    https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/hobby

    "A hobby is an activity that you enjoy doing in your spare time."

    https://www.etymonline.com/word/hobby

    "The modern sense of "a favorite pursuit, object, or topic" is from 1816"

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hobby#Etymology_1

    "favorite pastime or avocation" with the connecting notion being "activity that doesn't go anywhere"

    So in general the attributes common across all dictionaries, rather than a single cherry picked definition from any cherry picked dictionary is that it is to engage in an activity in ones spare time, as distinct from ones main occupation. A common but seemingly not necessary definition is that this activity is engaged in for enjoyment/pleasure. This is a common attribute but not one that is seemingly a necessary prerequisite. In fact one of the definitions above says only it is ESPECIALLY for enjoyment (I say another definition I cant find now which used the word typically instead of especially), but not necessarily.

    Of course there is a conversation to be had there with theists, rather than us making the assumption on their behalf, about whether they enjoy their religion at all, or if it gives them pleasure or relaxes them. I would put by best guess forward they will say yes to all of those things mostly. But there will be exceptions. In fact we only had One World Order on another thread here espousing the oft cited, but poorly evidenced, claim that religionists are happier people who live longer.

    So again the word seems to fit and my use of it while not typical, nor have I claimed it is, is not erroneous either. It has been suggested I choose that word in order to essentially troll or upset people. This is not so. I choose the word to show I show peoples religion no more, but also no less, respect or tolerance or deference than I do any other pursuit people have in their private lives.

    By using this word in this way I am sending the signal I do not afford peoples religious hobby any unwarranted respect or deference, but I show it the same respect I would if they were building model airplanes, playing GAA, fishing, or growing vegetables.

    The interesting thing for me is that even people who have no religion, or faith in god, and may even have worked AGAINST the religion or the church for many years.... still feel a level of discomfort with this. Even they have some level of conditioning that religion warrants some elevated level of deference and my not showing it does not sit well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Odhinn wrote: »
    Realistically, people from certain backgrounds have been - for want of a better word - brainwashed from a very young age about certain foods. The result is not people being "picky", but of revulsion as to what they deem unclean.

    Absolutely. I would still call it picky eating to a degree, but not while losing empathy for why they are that way.

    I myself have a life long visceral and powerful revulsion to Baked Beans in sauce, and porridge. It is not just that I can not eat them. Right now I can not even be in the room with people eating them, nor can I sit near a plate containing them. My negative response to them is quite powerful. Physical and Emotional. I just have to get out of there.

    I actually have no idea where this response comes from to be honest. Probably some buried childhood things. It makes no sense as most of the constituents I adore in other contexts. I use the same "Haferflocken" that herself makes porridge for the kids with over here for many things I love. I eat many types of beans in many other forms in many other dishes. And I use Tomato Sauces a lot.

    Speaking for myself though, which invariably is the lens through which the story I first posted yesterday was viewed, if a time of crisis came such that feeding myself and my family relied on charity.... if they sent over beans and porridge I would be eating it. No doubt in my mind. Feeding my family, and keeping myself fed so I can be the carer of my family, is everything. Especially if I knew that refusing it meant a less efficient charity would be sent my way that meant my eating meant not one, but >1 other people would be without. If I refused the food, I would absolutely take the label "Picky Eater" on the chin without reservation.

    The thread is about nothing more than "Hazards of belief" and if belief in a certain god/religion is causing people to make the opposite choice as a matter of course, for no actual good reason.... then I think with or without judgement it qualifies for the thread. Which is all that my post was originally intended for.

    If and when a C19 vaccine comes to pass in all this, anti vaxers and religionists who turn away medical interventions and needles are going to be a problem. The question will be raised of course whether their unsubstantiated personal beliefs should give them a right to refuse vaccination and still consider themselves members of our society. I am not looking forward to that debate :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Is that the definition from the word "hobby" or the word "hobby horse" there? I do not have an OED subscription so I can not check myself.
    "Hobby". But two of the five definitions of "hobby" are straight cross-refernences to definitions of two senses of "hobby-horse".


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,332 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    I think you're way off the mark there, Nozz. The Wikipedia article for example describes the various categories of hobby and religion doesn't fit in any of them.

    There are very many unpaid activities we engage in based on our personally held beliefs, politics, philosophy and sense of personal and social duty that can't reasonably be described as hobbies. We also derive pleasure from many of these. For example is voluntary charitable work a hobby? Is reading bedtime stories to your kids every night a hobby? Is campaigning for human rights a hobby? Is choosing to vote in an election a hobby? Is helping your elderly neighbor with their grocery shopping a hobby? Is engaging in regular physical exercise for physical and mental well-being a hobby?

    By your definition, every unpaid waking activity that isn't involuntary is a hobby. Even by the standard dictionary definitions religion fails as it is often not a matter of choice or an activity people derive pleasure from. For example, being born into a strict Muslim majority society where you are forced to live your life in accordance with Sharia law isn't exactly comparable to stamp collecting now is it?


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