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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Organized religion is a terrible thing if forced upon people but individuals must be free to worship whatever they wish...
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winston2004 wrote:
Organized religion is a terrible thing if forced upon people but individuals must be free to worship whatever they wish...


I agree. That is why a support a secular society with the freedom of the individual to worship any religion that that person so chooses.
Mac





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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bleatmop wrote:
Winston2004 wrote:
Organized religion is a terrible thing if forced upon people but individuals must be free to worship whatever they wish...


I agree. That is why a support a secular society with the freedom of the individual to worship any religion that that person so chooses.

Yup... and the freedom not to worship if that's what they choose. Keep in mind that a secular society does not exclude devout individuals from running for office. It simply means that government(s) do not ascribe to or show preference for any particular religion.

-Mac
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Bleatmop wrote:
Winston2004 wrote:
Organized religion is a terrible thing if forced upon people but individuals must be free to worship whatever they wish...


I agree. That is why a support a secular society with the freedom of the individual to worship any religion that that person so chooses.

Yup... and the freedom not to worship if that's what they choose. Keep in mind that a secular society does not exclude devout individuals from running for office. It simply means that government(s) do not ascribe to or show preference for any particular religion.

-Mac


I agree. That was easy :D But that make me wonder what you think of parties like the Christian Heritage Party
Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bleatmop wrote:
I agree. That was easy :D But that make me wonder what you think of parties like the Christian Heritage Party


I like their platform.
don muntean





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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Is religion good or bad for society? Reply with quote

Guelphfirst wrote:
In the past two days I've been passed two pieces which in many ways conflict with each other. I'm curious as to everyone’s thoughts on the matter.
Is religion good or bad for society?
Forget the authors, and look just at the content.


FOXNEWS.COM HOME > SCIENCE

Study: Religion Is Good for Kids
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

By Melinda Wenner

Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children, according to a new study that is the first to look at the effects of religion on young child development.

The conflict that arises when parents regularly argue over their faith at home, however, has the opposite effect.

John Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociologist and his colleagues asked the parents and teachers of more than 16,000 kids, most of them first-graders, to rate how much self control they believed the kids had, how often they exhibited poor or unhappy behavior and how well they respected and worked with their peers.

The researchers compared these scores to how frequently the children’s parents said they attended worship services, talked about religion with their child and argued abut religion in the home.

The kids whose parents regularly attended religious services — especially when both parents did so frequently — and talked with their kids about religion were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents.

But when parents argued frequently about religion, the children were more likely to have problems. “Religion can hurt if faith is a source of conflict or tension in the family,” Bartkowski noted.

Why so good?

Bartkowski thinks religion can be good for kids for three reasons. First, religious networks provide social support to parents, he said, and this can improve their parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also “take more to heart the messages that they get in the home,” he said.

Secondly, the types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family, Bartkowski told LiveScience. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response,” he said.

Finally, religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance, he said.

University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, who was not involved in the study, agrees. At least for the most religious parents, “getting their kids into heaven is more important than getting their kids into Harvard,” Wilcox said.

But as for why religious organizations might provide more of a boost to family life than secular organizations designed to do the same thing, that’s still somewhat of a mystery, said Annette Mahoney, a psychologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, also not involved in the research. Mahoney wondered: “Is there anything about religion and spirituality that sets it apart?”

Unanswered questions

Bartkowski points out that one limitation of his study, to be published in the journal Social Science Research, is that it did not compare how denominations differed with regards to their effects on kids.

“We really don’t know if conservative Protestant kids are behaving better than Catholic kids or behaving better than mainline Protestant kids or Jewish kids,” he said.

It’s also possible that the correlation between religion and child development is the other way around, he said. In other words, instead of religion having a positive effect on youth, maybe the parents of only the best behaved children feel comfortable in a religious congregation.

“There are certain expectations about children’s behavior within a religious context, particularly within religious worship services,” he said. These expectations might frustrate parents, he said, and make congregational worship “a less viable option if they feel their kids are really poorly behaved.”

Copyright © 2007 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



19 March 2007

Religion and Good Behaviour

By Gwynne Dyer

They published an opinion poll in Britain recently in which 82
percent of the people polled said that they thought religion does more harm
than good. My first reaction, I must admit, was to think: That's what they
would say, isn't it? It's not just that suicide bombers give religion a bad
name. In "post-Christian Britain," only 33 percent of the population
identify themselves as "a religious person," and if you stripped out recent
immigrants -- Polish Catholics, West Indian Protestants, Pakistani Muslims,
Indian Hindus -- then the number would be even lower.

So that's what the British would say, isn't it? In the United
States, where over 85 percent of people describe themselves as religious
believers, the answer would surely be very different, as it would be in
Iran or Mexico. But then I remembered an article that was published a
couple of years ago in the Journal of Religion and Society entitled (sorry
about this) "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health
with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A
First Look," in which Gregory Paul set out to test the assertion that
religion makes people behave better.

If that is true, then the United States should be heaven on earth,
whereas Britain would be overrun with crime, sexual misbehaviour and the
like. Paul examined the data from eighteen developed countries, and found
just the opposite: "In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a
creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult
mortality, (venereal disease), teen pregnancy, and abortion," while "none
of the strongly secularised, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high
levels of measurable dysfunction."

How interesting. Now, to be fair, only one of the eighteen
countries examined (Japan) was not Christian or "post-Christian," so maybe
this just shows that high levels of Christian belief correlate with a
variety of social ills. There's really no way of testing that anyway,
since apart from the countries of East Asia there really are no
non-Christian countries where the level of religious belief has yet fallen
below sixty or seventy percent.

There's not even any way of knowing if other religions will
eventually experience the same decline in belief as the people who believed
in them get richer, more urban and better educated. Even in what used to be
Christendom, the United States didn't follow that path, after all. But the
question is not whether religion will continue to flourish. It is whether
that makes people behave better, and the data say no.

Even within the United States, Paul reported, "the strongly
theistic, anti-evolution South and Midwest" have "markedly worse homicide,
mortality, sexually transmitted disease, youth pregnancy, marital and
related problems than the North-East, where societal conditions,
secularisation and acceptance of evolution approach European norms." As
the most religious country of the eighteen surveyed, the United States also
comes in with the highest rates for teenage pregnancy and for gonorrhea and
syphilis . (A sidelight: boys who participate in sexual abstinence
programmes are more likely to get their partners pregnant, presumably
because they are in denial about what they are doing.)

What are we to make of this? I never thought that religion really
made people behave any better, but apart from the occasional pogrom or
religious war it hadn't occurred to me that it would actually make them
behave worse. But there may be a clue in the fact that the more religious a
country is, the smaller the resources that it puts into social spending,
perhaps on the assumption that God will provide.

There is a very strong linkage between how secular a country is and
how much it spends on social welfare and income redistribution. There is
an equally strong correlation between high levels of social spending and a
good score in Paul's survey -- which makes sense, because all the ills he
was measuring, from homicide to high infant mortality to teen pregnancy,
are far more likely to affect the poor than the rich.

It's not that religious people choose to do bad things more often
-- indeed, they are probably more likely to get involved in charitable
activities. Maybe it's just that when they talk about transforming people's
lives, they don't think in terms of big state-run systems -- and if you
don't, lots of people fall through the cracks. Whereas the Godless, all
alone under the empty sky, decide that they must band together and help one
another through large amounts of social spending, because Nobody else is
going to do it for them.

Or maybe there is some other reason entirely, but the numbers don't
lie: the more religious a country is, the worse people behave in their
private lives. Thank God they didn't do a survey on the correlation
between strong religious belief and war.
________________________________


Gwynne Dyer is spouting communist generalizations based on a slanted statistical analysis while Melinda Wenner made many good points. There are problems in testing a sample of the population and making generalizations about the rest of the population.
Mac





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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bleatmop wrote:
I agree. That was easy :D But that make me wonder what you think of parties like the Christian Heritage Party

I don't object to the Christian Heritage Party. Of course, I don't object to the Green Party, the Marxist-Leninist Party or other fringe parties. Each of them bring a platform of positions and arguments which contribute to the debate which eventually forms the direction of our government.

That being said, I'm also a strong proponent of the FPTP voting system since it acts like a filter to keep such parties out of power. Under FPTP, fringe parties who evolve to present a well balanced platform (such as Green started to do) can gain mainstream success. Those who insist on staying with their fringe platforms keep themselves out of power.

-Mac
canden





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Jesus Christ. Reply with quote

:arrow: Regarding the leader and starter of Christianity Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is a real historical fact. The Biblical Jesus Christ: walked the talk, freed up religion, loves all, forgave, much wise too, helped many many people and did great miracles plus is the greatest Spiritual leader. / Read the award winnig book- The Case For Christ, authored by former crime lawyer and top journalist Lee Strobel. This book contains a dozen top world scholars all with earned Ph.d's with degrees in science, history, archeology, theology and psychology and they all give smart, soild and informative reasons as to why the Biblical Jesus Christ is true. Is a most exciting and much interesting good read for sure.!!!
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should pick me up a copy. I have read his book A Case for A Creator.
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course religion can be both good and bad for society. The problem is when people are absolutely 100% convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Just look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to see what happens when both sides are absolutely convinced that they are correct.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Of course religion can be both good and bad for society. The problem is when people are absolutely 100% convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Just look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to see what happens when both sides are absolutely convinced that they are correct.


That conflict is also more racially motivated and politically motivated than it is religious.
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SFrank85 wrote:
That conflict is also more racially motivated and politically motivated than it is religious.


I'm sure there is probably some racial/political conflicts as well. However, I think more than anything it is religious, as both sides want God's land.
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