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The Decline of Religion

2

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,107 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    recedite wrote: »
    As I said before, the point is that as the socio-economic situation of a population improves, their reproductive rate tends to drop even lower.

    The reason many young Irish adults left here over the last ten years is precisely because of the socio-economic situation, and they won't be coming back to rear families here unless it improves enough (cost of housing, childcare, commuting) to make their quality of life better than it is where they are. So they end up contributing towards the reproductive rate of another country, not here.

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Nuns Nuns Reverse Reverse!



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    smacl wrote: »
    'the logical conclusion' above has now become your logical conclusion where you previously posited it as my conclusion even though I never suggested anything of the kind.
    No, its the logical conclusion of your position, not mine. You could settle this quickly by saying whether you support that conclusion or not. Instead of furiously and noisily beating at the bushes.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,556 ✭✭✭ Roger Hassenforder




  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    No, its the logical conclusion of your position, not mine. You could settle this quickly by saying whether you support that conclusion or not. Instead of furiously and noisily beating at the bushes.

    To be clear, and as I've already said, migration is not, in my humble opinion, a solution to overpopulation. These are your assertions, your half assed logic and your entirely dubious conclusions. I couldn't care less about your nonsense but if you're going to try to attribute any of it to me you'd better be prepared to back it up. Once again, please provide a reference that shows where I've said what you've stated as my position or retract that statement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,006 ✭✭✭ corks finest


    Actually the decline of ppl believing in religion


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    smacl wrote: »
    To be clear, and as I've already said, migration is not, in my humble opinion, a solution to overpopulation...
    We're half way there now. And for the other half of this equation, what is the solution to the issue of low fertility rates in the more developed/civilised/secular societies of Europe and East Asia? I assume it is not, therefore, the encouragement of even more contraception and abortion.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    We're half way there now. And for the other half of this equation, what is the solution to the issue of low fertility rates in the more developed/civilised/secular societies of Europe and East Asia? I assume it is not, therefore, the encouragement of even more contraception and abortion.

    And there you go again with an unsupported assumption. You have failed miserably throughout this thread to come up with anything other than misrepresentation, unsupported assertions coupled with specious assumption all leading to dubious conclusion. And no, before you ask, speculate, assume or go for the Vulcan mind meld once again, I don't share your assumption above. In my opinion, access to family planning is a cornerstone of any modern egalitarian democracy. The population problem encountered by countries that have only had access to family planning for one or two generations is an aging population no one of size, which is something that is entirely self correcting. We live in a highly automated society, not in Victorian London. We don't need manual laborers to the extent we once did, so the size of our population is very much what we choose it to be.

    Also, let me remind you that the only person that raised immigration as solution to population control was yourself. This is your line of thought and yours alone. While you purport to know what I think, you clearly don't have the vaguest clue.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    smacl wrote: »
    The population problem encountered by countries that have only had access to family planning for one or two generations is an aging population no one of size, which is something that is entirely self correcting.
    In fact a figure of around 2.3 children per female is considered to be the replacement rate, as per this chart. Anything below that is certainly not self-correcting. Sadly you are still refusing to accept reality. "Family Planning" is your cure-all solution.
    You'll notice in the bottom right hand corner, all the countries gathered which have shrinking populations. These societies are generally prosperous, secular and value women's rights.
    In the top left, the exporters of refugees and migrants. These societies are usually highly religious, poverty stricken and often at war.https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate

    Which takes us neatly back to how this conversation started; the "unexpected" increase in religiosity being experienced in the world as a whole, and in many formerly secular countries such as Sweden.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    In fact a figure of around 2.3 children per female is considered to be the replacement rate, as per this chart. Anything below that is certainly not self-correcting. Sadly you are still refusing to accept reality. "Family Planning" is your cure-all solution.

    How exactly do you think the replacement figure of 2.3 children per female needed for a static population size is ever likely to be achieved without family planning? Populations aren't naturally static. Most animals will grow to meet the available food source, lose numbers though starvation as they exhaust the supply, rinse and repeat. The foxes and rabbits game is a simple illustration of this. As a society of intelligent people with the luxury of high levels of automation, we don't have to play this game any more. We can choose to have children when we want children and in doing so keep our numbers at a level where no one has to starve. The notion of limiting access to family planning is in my opinion barbaric, and tantamount to forcing women to have children against their will. FWIW, many couples in this country delay having children for financial reasons, notably accommodation, childcare and healthcare costs. If we wanted to encourage people to have more children, these are the issues to address. Suggesting that banning contraception and abortion as a solution is as dumb as it is offensive.
    You'll notice in the bottom right hand corner, all the countries gathered which have shrinking populations. These societies are generally prosperous, secular and value women's rights.
    In the top left, the exporters of refugees and migrants. These societies are usually highly religious, poverty stricken and often at war.https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate

    Which takes us neatly back to how this conversation started; the "unexpected" increase in religiosity being experienced in the world as a whole, and in many formerly secular countries such as Sweden.

    Outside of obviously wanting to live in a prosperous secular society that values women's rights, you might want to look at average life expectancy in conjunction with fertility rates and the resulting total population size. A quick look at life expectancy versus income on GapMinder shows us that while birth rates were higher in the past, life expectancy was far lower.

    Increased religiosity seems to go hand in hand with poverty, poor women's rights and human rights in general and decreased life expectancy. Not sure where you're going with you clip about Somali refugees looking for better housing in Sweden, other than as a reference to your own rant about migration.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Amazing how many rabbitholes you create while avoiding the relevant issues (which I think I have already outlined adequately)


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    Amazing how many rabbitholes you create while avoiding the relevant issues (which I think I have already outlined adequately)

    What relevant issues have you outlined precisely, because I for one amn't seeing any? All I'm seeing in your posts are deliberate misrepresentation and a vague antipathy towards migrants and family planning.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    There are none so blind as those who will not see.
    BTW those weren't Somalians in that video clip, they were New Swedes. And very religious ones too. And much more prolific than old swedes.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    There are none so blind as those who will not see.
    BTW those weren't Somalians in that video clip, they were New Swedes. And very religious ones too. And much more prolific than old swedes.

    Perhaps you could state your point more directly. The impression I get is that we shouldn't allow black islamic refugees into Europe because they'll outbreed the good upstanding white people and smother us in Allah and melanin. We can maybe counter this by denying local women access to contraception to force them to keep up. Is that it or have I missed something more profound?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Banning contraception in a developed society is impossible, and anyway it would be undesirable. Banning immigration when a native population has already chosen the path of extinction is also pointless. Nature abhors a vacuum. People will move from overpopulated regions to underpopulated ones. Why should I care what happens in Sweden anyway? That is their problem.
    I gave one of the main reasons why I think religion will not decline as much as some people seem to think. Not for the foreseeable future anyway.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Perhaps it is inevitable that as societies develop and become more secular, they also become more liberal and start to lose their identity. When they create a complete disconnect between sex and reproduction, as old swedes did back in the 1960's, they end up having too much of one, and not enough of the other :pac:
    Religious societies, in contrast, maintain a strong identity and cohesion. They are also pro-life, which translates into prolific. Its a winning meme in evolutionary terms, despite being somewhat retrograde.
    So I think old Abba singles will eventually join the Byzantine art of Constantinople in evolution's Hall of Losers, which reminds us of the lost civilisations from times long past.

    .


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    Religious societies, in contrast, maintain a strong identity and cohesion. They are also pro-life, which translates into prolific. Its a winning meme in evolutionary terms, despite being somewhat retrograde.

    Let's take a quick look at these traditional religious societies with their winning 'meme' so. Prolific, pro-life and at war. Prolific, pro-life and stricken with poverty, famine and disease. These are the reasons that more successful countries such as Sweden get immigrants who are refugees from failing religious societies in crisis. You also seem to misunderstand evolution which amounts to adapt and improve or perish. Favouring tradition over change is the polar opposite of this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Evolution is much more complex than that. There are many evolutionary cul-de-sacs, some with great (but lost) potential. And sometimes its not survival of the fittest or the smartest, but survival of the most aggressively expansionist.
    Evolution is the blind watchmaker. But when genetic manipulation comes along, it will be different. Planning will enter into evolution.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    Evolution is much more complex than that. There are many evolutionary cul-de-sacs, some with great (but lost) potential. And sometimes its not survival of the fittest or the smartest, but survival of the most aggressively expansionist.
    Evolution is the blind watchmaker. But when genetic manipulation comes along, it will be different. Planning will enter into evolution.

    Yet there's rather more at play in how human societies work and interact than evolution, particularly if you limit yourself to Dawkins' gene-centred approach to evolution. Even then, all evolutionary models show that change overcomes a static position, so your notion of an expansionist traditional religious society having some kind of permanent evolutionary advantage seems self contradictory. I mention Dawkins' here given your mention of a blind watchmaker and a winning meme. There seems to be a common criticism of mimetics in that it is trying to shoehorn cultural phenomena into a genetic framework and is often considered a pseudoscience as a result. I think your argument above falls down for the same reason. If by evolution, you're actually referring to [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_evolution]cultural evolution[/URL] you should probably say so, because this is something entirely distinct from biological evolution such as gene-centred evolution. These are not interchangeable terms.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 502 ✭✭ Pero_Bueno


    I hope Christianity ceases to exist, terrible terrible things the RCC has done to Ireland in the past.
    If only we could have a peaceful religion like Islam take hold here, that will make us all liberals super happy!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,109 ✭✭✭ Odhinn


    Pero_Bueno wrote: »
    I hope Christianity ceases to exist, terrible terrible things the RCC has done to Ireland in the past.
    If only we could have a peaceful religion like Islam take hold here, that will make us all liberals super happy!


    I can sense that there's some point there, but - buried deep as it is - I'm having a hard time deciphering it.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Pero_Bueno wrote: »
    I hope Christianity ceases to exist, terrible terrible things the RCC has done to Ireland in the past.
    If only we could have a peaceful religion like Islam take hold here, that will make us all liberals super happy!

    Can't speak for anyone else here, but as an atheist I think all religions are different flavours of the same nonsense and as a secularist I fully support people's right to practise whatever religion they choose just so long as they don't try to foist it on others (notably me and my family). To my mind Islam in many countries today is like Catholicism in Ireland in the '50s '60s and '70s. Autocratic, homophobic, and misogynistic where religion is beyond allowable criticism. We've largely got over that crap, and I can see no reason why most muslims won't over time. For all that, I've spent a fair bit of time in a number of Islamic majority countries and I'd have to say that by and large the people were really warm and friendly. People aren't their religion either and reducing how you think of them in such a limited way helps no one.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    smacl wrote: »
    Even then, all evolutionary models show that change overcomes a static position, so your notion of an expansionist traditional religious society having some kind of permanent evolutionary advantage seems self contradictory.
    Not quite true;a winning meme remains in circulation as long as it is still winning. In biological terms, there are lots of ancient genetic blueprints still around. Off the top of my head, sharks, coelacanth, tuatara. And of course the blue green algae have been around from the very beginning.
    smacl wrote: »
    There seems to be a common criticism of mimetics in that it is trying to shoehorn cultural phenomena into a genetic framework and is often considered a pseudoscience as a result. I think your argument above falls down for the same reason. If by evolution, you're actually referring to cultural evolution you should probably say so, because this is something entirely distinct from biological evolution such as gene-centred evolution. These are not interchangeable terms.
    Well I'm not sure if anyone reputable considers this to be "pseudoscience". Its probably part science and part philosophy.
    Memes and genes work on the same basic principles; that is why some of the terms became interchangeable in the first place. They are "universal replicators" and possess three key characteristics: high fidelity replication, high levels of fecundity (prolific) and longevity. Religious memes tend to possess all these attributes. For example, the Koran is probably the most accurately transcribed text ever. Ancient copies have been found which are identical to modern texts, word for word. Scribes have always been specially trained and specially selected for this sacred work.


    A bunch of memes operating together as a system becomes a distinct culture, just as a bunch of genes produces a distinct type of body.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    Well I'm not sure if anyone reputable considers this to be "pseudoscience". Its probably part science and part philosophy.

    Wikipedia specifically makes reference to mimetics as a pseudoscience, e.g.
    Luis Benitez-Bribiesca, a critic of memetics, calls it "a pseudoscientific dogma" and "a dangerous idea that poses a threat to the serious study of consciousness and cultural evolution" among other things.

    If you have a brief look through some of the references, we see the following quote by Dawkins himself
    I am occasionally accused of having backtracked on memes, of having lost heart, pulled in my horns, had second thoughts. The truth is that my first thoughts were more modest than some memeticists might wish. For me the original mission was negative. The word was introduced at the end of a book that otherwise must have seemed entirely devoted to extolling the “selfish” gene as the be-all and end-all of evolution, the fundamental unit of selection. There was a risk that my readers would misunderstand the message as being necessarily about DNA molecules. . . . This was where the meme came in

    To talk about evolution, a globally accepted scientific subject taught in schools and colleges worldwide that has been subjected to rigorous and intense scrutiny, and mean mimetics is misleading.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Luis Benitez-Bribiesca, a critic of memetics, calls it "a pseudoscientific dogma" and "a dangerous idea that poses a threat to the serious study of consciousness and cultural evolution" among other things...
    But you omitted the end part of that quote, which goes..
    This, however, has been demonstrated (e.g. by Daniel C. Dennett, in Darwin's Dangerous Idea) to not be the case, in fact, due to the existence of self-regulating correction mechanisms (vaguely resembling those of gene transcription) enabled by the redundancy and other properties of most meme expression languages, which do stabilize information transfer. (E.g. spiritual narratives—including music and dance forms—can survive in full detail across any number of generations even in cultures with oral tradition only.)
    Who is Luis Benitez-Bribiesca anyway? A quick google indicates he died 2 years ago, but worked in the Mexican Dept. of Social Security. Is that the Mexican dole office?
    I think I'll go with Daniel Dennett on this one.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    recedite wrote: »
    Who is Luis Benitez-Bribiesca anyway? A quick google indicates he died 2 years ago, but worked in the Mexican Dept. of Social Security. Is that the Mexican dole office?
    I think I'll go with Daniel Dennett on this one.

    With over a hundred citations on Research Gate, I'd suggest a rather more well informed source than you seem to be implying, and one of many such critics of memetics, including the likes of Steven Pinker.

    Either way some narrowly followed amalgam of science and philosophy as you put it is a very far cry from evolution, as it is widely understood, in terms of credibility or broad acceptance. Even the term mimetics itself, as derived from Dawkins' work, isn't the common use of that word that you'd find a dictionary. It certainly isn't a science from what I can see, yet it follows the naming conventions of genetics to give the impression that it is one. It seems very much like a linguistic framework to support discussion among a group of people that buy into certain theories, and certainly wide open to scepticism.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,495 ✭✭✭ antiskeptic


    smacl wrote: »
    I personally find the Christian notion of 'Go forth and multiply' morally reprehensible in this context, and I don't doubt that Islam suffers from similar problems.

    There would be nothing wrong with going forth and multiplying if it wasn't shackled to capitalism's identical-with-a-twist motto: go forth and multiply at the expense of anyone who you can dominate to fuel the multiplication.

    There is more than plenty to sustain far more life on earth .. were it not for the fact that to concentrate the wealth in a small sector of the world, the rest has to be raped.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,107 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Why should we want to sustain yet more human life on Earth though?

    Is the population doubling in less than 50 years (despite contraception) a trend we should be happy to see continue?

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Nuns Nuns Reverse Reverse!



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,810 ✭✭✭ Hector Savage


    smacl wrote: »
    Can't speak for anyone else here, but as an atheist I think all religions are different flavours of the same nonsense and as a secularist I fully support people's right to practise whatever religion they choose just so long as they don't try to foist it on others (notably me and my family). To my mind Islam in many countries today is like Catholicism in Ireland in the '50s '60s and '70s. Autocratic, homophobic, and misogynistic where religion is beyond allowable criticism. We've largely got over that crap, and I can see no reason why most muslims won't over time. For all that, I've spent a fair bit of time in a number of Islamic majority countries and I'd have to say that by and large the people were really warm and friendly. People aren't their religion either and reducing how you think of them in such a limited way helps no one.

    Very good post.
    And I hope to God (;)) you're right.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    There would be nothing wrong with going forth and multiplying if it wasn't shackled to capitalism's identical-with-a-twist motto: go forth and multiply at the expense of anyone who you can dominate to fuel the multiplication.

    There is more than plenty to sustain far more life on earth .. were it not for the fact that to concentrate the wealth in a small sector of the world, the rest has to be raped.

    That doesn't matter. The earth is a finite resource, so if you look to continually increase the size of the human population by multiples you see exponential growth that at some point exhausts those resources and results in a population collapse at best or extinction at worst. More sensibly, at a social level, we control our own population growth to maintain optimal population levels.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,239 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Is the population doubling in less than 50 years (despite contraception) a trend we should be happy to see continue?
    Given that our religious confreres wish to outbreed other religions now that the option of killing them has (mostly) receded into the past, I'd say yes, doubling their own populations is what - I suspect the majority of - religious people wish for.

    That's the main reason why religious people get upset at the naive and frankly innocuous Georgie Guidestones:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones


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