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less religious= more superstitious

thett3
Posts: 14,334
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2/3/2014 10:42:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is in the society section because I don't want this to be a debate between the merits of traditional religion vs. atheism. I just want some thoughts on how to interpret the data after reading an article in the WSJ.

Even though the author clearly has an agenda, it pointed out some interesting data such as the more theologically liberal respondents were, the more likely they were to claim belief in the occult, pseudosciences and pagan beliefs such as communication with the dead. The trend extends to the irreligious as well.

What to make of this? My first though is that humans may generally have a mental tendency if not a need to have a certain degree of religiosity. If not traditional religion, than superstition or increasingly inane spiritualism. However since I just read this article any thoughts would be much appreciated.

http://online.wsj.com...
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bsh1
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2/4/2014 2:28:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/3/2014 10:42:23 PM, thett3 wrote:
This is in the society section because I don't want this to be a debate between the merits of traditional religion vs. atheism. I just want some thoughts on how to interpret the data after reading an article in the WSJ.

Even though the author clearly has an agenda, it pointed out some interesting data such as the more theologically liberal respondents were, the more likely they were to claim belief in the occult, pseudosciences and pagan beliefs such as communication with the dead. The trend extends to the irreligious as well.

What to make of this? My first though is that humans may generally have a mental tendency if not a need to have a certain degree of religiosity. If not traditional religion, than superstition or increasingly inane spiritualism. However since I just read this article any thoughts would be much appreciated.

http://online.wsj.com...

Sure--I can get on board with that.

People crave a need to understand and to learn. Why would people go the Artic, and endure such cruel conditions, if not to explore and understand, then why? People challenge themselves because it gives them a sense of fulfillment. People learn because it fills a vacuum. People acquire friends to add vibrancy to a void.

Why then should spirituality be any different?

Just as people have a need to understand concrete facts about their world, they have a need to ask the big questions, like "How did I get here," or "What is my purpose?"

We have spirituality as a means of filling this void, just like friends, knowledge, hobbies, and challenges fill voids in our life. You could almost say that people are dams with too many hole to plug--but yet we keep trying to fill the holes back in, because we don't want to be empty inside.

This is an innate and indefatigable desire that motivates all of us. In fact, it could be the very root of why we do anything at all--but that is a puzzle for a different day. Suffice it to say, that humans NEED fulfillment on myriad levels.

Spirituality gives us answers and fulfillment in regards to those big questions. Even atheists or agnostics need answers to those--and so while formal religion may be shunned, faith remains.

It's an interesting quandary. How can one be atheist, yet have faith. But, this oxymoron perpetuates itself the world over. Even though official religion may be ignored, most of us recognize willingly that there has to be something out there besides ourselves--something spiritual.

For those of us unable to make that statement aloud, there is still a subconscious urge to believe. Be it a belief as simple as "oneness with nature" every human needs a creed to follow.

So, if we get back to your question of "what to make" of this finding, I submit that the answer is quite simple: the presence of spirituality in all people is merely humanity's desire to seek fulfillment asserting itself.

It's not logical, per se, but more instinctual--a feeling that inheres in us and defines the parameters of the human condition. That is what this revolves around.

I think I may have gone a little intense there...like I feel like I should be preaching a sermon right now...but I hope it answers the OP.
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nummi
Posts: 294
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2/4/2014 7:06:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Religion itself is superstition... The only difference is hundreds of thousands and millions and even more adhere to religion, while superstition is more individual. Otherwise there really is as good as no difference between the two.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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2/4/2014 3:36:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The mind is a sort of a loop, a self-correcting machine. I'm not exactly sure of the dynamic behind certain things, the why, but I'm certain there's an is, and then I have a fair idea as to the why, too. The claim that article makes makes perfect sense to me, to be quite honest. Absent firm convictions, the mind is left roam, the subconscious providing for he conscious as regards what to possibly believe, and the conscious testing everything it's provided with, I guess, as regards operation. The subconscious is your master-mathematician, basically; while the conscious is your recognition, which, seemingly, is often lied to by the former, as a result of, I think, suggestion it sends to the former that it is not aware of and which is thus unhampered by bias and incredibly powerful. Christianity is to set in stone the world around you, to drown out such suggestion, to impose a bias upon such suggestion, to take firmer control over your mind, basically, even if only as a greater inhibitor. I've actually been thinking about religion as such lately, and it's a fascinating point of view, though religion is still potentially hugely stunting and arguably incredibly immoral too. The thing is, the Bible is probably the most profound piece of literature that exists, and it's hard to reconcile it with the purely controlling, especially when you consider that "superstition is a sin" bit in conjunction with my considerations above. I mean, maybe it was primarily intended as a bar against some retard hearing a dead guy talk to him through a Ouija board and going out killing hundreds of people? I don't know. I certainly have very little faith in our ever achieving our true potential, anyway; and, feeling as such, I consider religion almost justified. Maybe we shouldn't quit, though; I dunno.
AnDoctuir
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2/4/2014 3:41:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
None of this is to say that being religious isn't actually dumb, by the way; but that everyone, really, is f*cking stupid lol
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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2/4/2014 3:47:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is where all that "low threshold" stuff comes into it as regards hypnosis and stuff like that, because it's actually you who's doing whatever it is to yourself, only recognising it as someone else doing it. Christians have a high threshold against superstition, that's all. It's not as if it's necessary to be Christian to have one, though.
2-D
Posts: 226
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2/4/2014 10:17:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/3/2014 10:42:23 PM, thett3 wrote:
This is in the society section because I don't want this to be a debate between the merits of traditional religion vs. atheism. I just want some thoughts on how to interpret the data after reading an article in the WSJ.

Even though the author clearly has an agenda, it pointed out some interesting data such as the more theologically liberal respondents were, the more likely they were to claim belief in the occult, pseudosciences and pagan beliefs such as communication with the dead. The trend extends to the irreligious as well.

What to make of this? My first though is that humans may generally have a mental tendency if not a need to have a certain degree of religiosity. If not traditional religion, than superstition or increasingly inane spiritualism. However since I just read this article any thoughts would be much appreciated.

http://online.wsj.com...

Interesting topic. I agree that religion fills many needs and losing a religion can lead to other beliefs that fill a similar role for better or worse. I first turned to Ayn Rand and Objectivism when I lost my faith. The view offers a lot of firm stances on difficult issues. While I still agree with a lot of the ideas the view is often very dogmatic and not open to criticism and often fails to see the role of empathy and compassion in our lives.

I don"t think that being a theist or an atheist really has a lot to say about your level of critical thinking or skepticism, which are important qualities to me. I would be curious to hear what the statistics say about those that identify as skeptics, humanists, critical thinkers or a similar title. What I would really like to see in the world is more critical thinking not more Atheists.

I have experimented with mindfulness and meditation and have found the Eastern religions more helpful and instructive in finding some form of 'spirituality' for lack of a better term. To me the term is about experiencing and accepting life/yourself as it is (while also trying to improve), living in the present and really pursuing your life based on your own convictions rather than avoiding it. This tends to make it easier to accept others where they are at. At this point I am comfortable saying there is no ultimate reason that I am here and I need to decide my own purpose based on my needs, values and natural concern for the world around me.
Bullish
Posts: 3,527
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2/8/2014 8:20:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Is that article excluding Christianity as a superstition? Sounds like it is.

If so, then Muslims are necessarily more superstitious than Christians.

20% of atheists believe in God? Are they retarded?
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