Author Topic: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion  (Read 362 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« on: May 03, 2017, 02:54:54 PM »
The former chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Association, describes some of his experiences about how a lot of Americans have a very passionate relationship to religion (whether for or against), whereas most Scandinavians don't care:

Quote
Lukewarm Normative Scandy Atheism

Because of blogging and my involvement in the skeptical pro-science movement, in recent years I have come into close contact with Americans as never before in my adult life. More than half of Aard’s readers are in the US. It’s almost like when I met my wife and suddenly learned lots about China.

...

This cultural context explains why I’m not very interested in the fire-and-brimstone atheist writings of e.g. Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers. I agree with them about almost everything. I would never grant religious truth-claims any special status above and apart from issues like whether there’s milk in the fridge. It’s just that where I am, their mode of expression is completely out of proportion as their issues are non-issues here. I have many US contacts on Facebook that have added me to their rosters because of the blog and my modest visibility in skeptical media, and I’m just amazed at how focused their attention is on atheism. Some of them post several public items a day on the subject. And of course, if I was feeling daily pressure from society to believe in the invisible pink unicorn or be damned and shunned, then it would be a much bigger deal to me that I don’t believe that such a beast exists. But really, a denial of the divinity of Jesus is about as novel and interesting to me as pointing out that the Pope has a funny hat.

Would you like to have a similar cultural climate in the USA, where most people simply don't care about religion one way or the other? Is it even possible? I notice that even the least religious American states are far more religious than any of the Scandinavian countries.

(For my own, I think atheism is fun and important, and I am happy to be open about it if asked. But I'm happy to live in a culture where there is no expectation of or pressure to being a believer.)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 02:57:00 PM by Quetzalcoatl »
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Online Friendly Angel

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 03:04:41 PM »
I'd be happy with that, I don't think it'll happen.

What I'd be satisfied with is the elimination of religious privilege in all things legal, economic, and political.
Amend and resubmit.

Offline AQB24712

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 07:07:33 PM »
Yes, what sweet FA said.
"There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."  Kurt Vonnegut
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 11:13:44 PM »
This pretty much parallels Australia's attitude towards religion too. It's only quite recently that the religious right has become more prominent in politics, driven, I am convinced, by the success of the religious right in America.

After all, when America says jump, Australia doesn't stop to ask how high.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 09:42:03 AM »
I'd be happy with that, I don't think it'll happen.

What I'd be satisfied with is the elimination of religious privilege in all things legal, economic, and political.

Why don't you think it will happen? Even the USA is moving toward secularization, at least that's what the stats seem to tell. Most people in Western Europe aren't as much convinced atheists or religious believers as they are indifferent to the whole religion thing.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 11:39:46 AM »
I will make a case that Evangelical Christianity has been transformed into cultic US nationalism as a religion. It adheres to the speculative theology of Christianity, but little of the social gospel of Jesus as portrayed in his first (probably mythical) sermon in Matthew 5-6.

Many modern scholars see Constantine's adoption of Christianity in Rome as a similar move.  If you keep the people focused on the pie in the sky when they die, and flash them with magical rites, you can pull off all the shit you want at home, and they are none the wiser. History repeats.
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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 05:36:43 PM »
Coincidentally, Trump was introduced at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University today as the man who bombed middle easterners persecuting Christians. Liberty is exactly the nexus of Evangelical Christianity and rabid US nationalism. I don't think these people know the difference.

I was reminded of the joke multiple-choice test key for a Liberty University science class that floated around my local college a few years ago.  Every answer on the test was was "D - God did it."
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Offline Billzbub

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 01:15:28 PM »
I'd be happy with that, I don't think it'll happen.

What I'd be satisfied with is the elimination of religious privilege in all things legal, economic, and political.

Well, only if the religion is fake.  Let's put a golf ball on the ground and ask the entire religion to pray at a certain time to levitate the golf ball into the air.  For each foot it is raised, they get a 5% tax break.  Then again, the Society of American Magicians would file as a religion and be like..."hold my beer".

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 05:12:50 PM »
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline 2397

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 05:38:03 PM »
I'd be happy with that, I don't think it'll happen.

What I'd be satisfied with is the elimination of religious privilege in all things legal, economic, and political.

Well, only if the religion is fake.  Let's put a golf ball on the ground and ask the entire religion to pray at a certain time to levitate the golf ball into the air.  For each foot it is raised, they get a 5% tax break.  Then again, the Society of American Magicians would file as a religion and be like..."hold my beer".

Shouldn't raising the ball disqualify them, as they cease to be faith based?

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: A culture of lukewarm indifference to religion
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 05:45:18 PM »
I'd be happy with that, I don't think it'll happen.

What I'd be satisfied with is the elimination of religious privilege in all things legal, economic, and political.

Well, only if the religion is fake.  Let's put a golf ball on the ground and ask the entire religion to pray at a certain time to levitate the golf ball into the air.  For each foot it is raised, they get a 5% tax break.  Then again, the Society of American Magicians would file as a religion and be like..."hold my beer".

Shouldn't raising the ball disqualify them, as they cease to be faith based?
Both balls should be raised so as to avoid a teabagging incident.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

 

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