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Profile: Hope123
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User Name: Hope123
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Occupation: Retired
Interests: Learning and Education, Art, Travel, Health, Swimming, Duplicate Bridge
Gender: Female
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Joined: Monday, March 23, 2015
Last Visit: Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:29:31 AM
Number of Posts: 5,676
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Is Atheism Evolutionarily Unstable?
Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2017 1:39:55 AM
Your premise is an interesting point of view, Epi. I shall have to think about it. You may have a point.

I have never considered that there might be a genomic factor or inherent propensity for the belief in a god or gods. I think of it as learned behavior that is rewarded with feel-good serotonin when we participate with a "like" social group or in group identification. Meditation of any kind, whether religious or not, can produce endorphins and make one feel good. And humans have a propensity for pleasure of all kinds. As do animals.

To me any evolution would be in the communication of belief, rather than in the brain itself.

But my first reaction to every topic is to get statistics/facts and in this case to see how quickly the numbers of atheists are actually changing. And the numbers of atheists do seem to be increasing more in the recent past. But it takes generations for change because children are conditioned to believe and it is hard to throw away "stuff" we learned as children. A lot of baggage we never do get rid of as adults.

And often adults raised in religion return to it after life events. My brother and sister became very vocal about religion AFTER they both lost an adult child - they want to believe they will see that child again.

I think the main reason that religion has such a hold still is that there is absolutely no security in this life and people try to find it.

There is fear of the future and the unknown. Some people actually think they can bargain with God - if this operation on my back does not paralyze me, I will forever believe in you and be good etc. It is their way of handling anxiety.

After marriage a less religious person or lapsed religious person may adopt the level of commitment of their more religious spouse. Often if one converts to a different religion for the sake of marriage, one becomes more devout than the non convert.

And of course since it is a way of controlling people, leaders actively endorse it.

From what I saw in my search for statistics, countries are very different. The US has a reputation for having a large number of religious people but apparently in Gallup polls that has dropped from almost 100% years ago to around 70 % now.

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

Atheism etc. jumped 6 points in seven years. Not bad in my book!

A 2015 article said the UK is one of the least religious in the world.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3036133/Brits-religious-world-UK-comes-59th-poll-65-countries-30-population-say-faith.html

Some Churches in Canada are losing their congregations. Those that have changed their services to be more like concerts, with bands instead of an organ etc., are faring better.

The data on Wiki (link at end) also revealed some interesting facts about Canadians' beliefs:
▪ A majority (53%) of Canadians believe in God. What is of particular interest is that 28% of Protestants, 33% of Catholics, and 23% of those who attend weekly religious services do not.
▪ One quarter (23%) of those with no religious identity still believe in a God.


http://canadianatheist.com/2015/04/angus-reid-survey-faith-in-canada/

26% say they reject religion
• 21% say they have no religious identity
• 37% prefer to live without “God or congregation”
• 27% consider themselves neither religious nor spiritual
• 33% think the growth of atheism in Canada is positive
43% are uncomfortable around the devoutly religious, and only 22% are uncomfortable around people “who have no use for religion”

And yet I would have sworn Canada is around 90% religious and most are Protestant, but there is a higher percentage of Catholics. I always think I am alone and never talk about it. I have never met anyone who is an atheist. We actually do not know what others around us really think.

Psychologists have studied the differing personalities between the two groups and there are a few differences in some areas but not in others. They did find that since atheists do not believe in afterlife, they are often more willing to try to fix things here with social justice. But then again the religious in churches often have "Outreach" where they put their money where their mouth is. (And sometimes missionaries have brought unintended as well as intended consequences upon those they tried to convert in their zeal. Hawaii for instance.)

Humans also have a need to have their opinions validated and some faiths even send out contacts to try to convert others - Jehovah's Witness for instance.

You can read the list of nice adjectives ascribed to atheists ;) on this Wiki link which may give an idea as to demographics even if not all facts have been verified.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism


Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: A message from the President on secrecy and the media
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 10:26:46 PM
Thanks, Drago. Oh how we wish to have such perspicacious voices in all our leaders.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Blaming the "Elites" and Liberals Over the Years - "How Bill O'Reilly created Donald Trump"
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 10:01:40 PM
Censorship of the press is exactly why many people around the world are working hard to stop that from happening in places where heretofore it was an anathema.

That is exactly why many Americans (and Canadians and Brits and Germans and Finnish and and and others on the forum) are fighting Trump and his war on the media, where someone on his staff even told them to shut up - or whatever his exact words were.

Republicans on the Forum have a hard time wondering why several of us continue to challenge what Trump is doing, saying the election is over. But that is precisely why it is important to challenge him even more so now. It is over. He is in power.

And he is trying to stifle the truth with his war on ANY media that does not agree with him. That is why he continually and continuously told his followers that Fox News had the only show in town - he had special friends there with voices.

And that is how authoritarian presidents become dictators.


Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Blaming the "Elites" and Liberals Over the Years - "How Bill O'Reilly created Donald Trump"
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 9:11:35 PM
Almo, we are not saying all Fox News is fake. This thread in particular is about one man and his show.

The story on your link said no one was injured. Did that turn out to be true or did they not follow up? I hope no one was hurt.


This is what I wrote to Yarin in another thread about trying to find out about the truth of what is reported in the news.

http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst165950_Allegations-and-Lawsuits-Against-Fox-News---Ailes-and-O-Reilly-Both-Gone.aspx?find=unread

Yarin wrote:
I meant not only Fox News.


Hope wrote : "Exactly. Checking out the reliability of the sources and using lots of sources is the way to go.

After a while, you look back from the future and get to know how things actually happened in comparison to what different sources said, and you learn which sources are reliable. All sources have a leaning towards a certain bias, but you learn which sources reported the news with the least amount of spin, and which ones looked at what happened from all points of view, not just theirs.

You can learn the same about posters on the Forum after a while as well."


Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Allegations and Lawsuits Against Fox News - Ailes and O'Reilly Both Gone
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:54:42 PM
Yarin wrote:
I meant not only Fox News.


Exactly. Checking out the reliability of the sources and using lots of sources is the way to go.

After a while, you look back from the future and get to know how things actually happened in comparison to what different sources said, and you learn which sources are reliable. All sources have a leaning towards a certain bias, but you learn which sources reported the news with the least amount of spin, and which ones looked at what happened from all points of view, not just theirs.

You can learn the same about posters on the Forum after a while as well.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Blaming the "Elites" and Liberals Over the Years - "How Bill O'Reilly created Donald Trump"
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:09:24 PM
Romany wrote:

Prog -

Leaders and Government spokespeople from all over the world have been discussing how the hell one is to understand presidential communique in the form of miss-spelt tweets. Or sentences delivered with force and passion which are flatly contradicted within seconds of being uttered?

How long is the term 'False News' (which, incidentally, has been around for hundreds of years) going to mean "Anything that doesn't agree with what I say"? How are we supposed then, to interpret support for real false news like China inventing Global Warming to piss America off? Or that the former President is guilty of a jailable offence against the State? Or that a bomb was dropped, over chocolate cake with the Chinese leader, because of compassion for dead children. Just not the children who died before the chocolate cake was finished.

And how are communications between America going to be viewed or understood, when the language being used is a totally foreign one?


Or whether or not what is said one day will be the opposite the next, depending upon to whom the leader talked last?

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Allegations and Lawsuits Against Fox News - Ailes and O'Reilly Both Gone
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 7:48:16 PM
Yarin wrote:
So don't hide them, and spread them fairly and in the same way.


No comprendo.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Blaming the "Elites" and Liberals Over the Years - "How Bill O'Reilly created Donald Trump"
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 7:09:41 PM
Romany, I have seen old words used in new ways on this Forum and when I went online to find out where they came from, I find the vocabulary came directly from Trump or websites run by Conservatives in some sort of "Rightese".

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Blaming the "Elites" and Liberals Over the Years - "How Bill O'Reilly created Donald Trump"
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 7:02:23 PM
O'Reilly had 4 million watchers for 16 years. Sponsors would be very stupid to spend all the money they do to flag their products if TV has no influence on people. And that is exactly why O'Reilly was canned - it was a business decision as sponsors were pulling out of Fox News - they had overlooked his treatment of women for years. Too bad he was not actually canned because what he did was wrong.


Watch some of O'Reilly's clips put together for the Trevor Noah show and see the very factors O'Reilly espoused that were taken up by Trump that his supporters love.

https://youtu.be/va5QZqqhWXw

Edited - This thread would be as relevant even if Trump had LOST the election. It was still a movement and movements need leaders with a voice.

:::::::
I would like to remove the following bracketed sentence from my answer because the election results really have nothing to do with the RISE of ANY person such as Trump. But people have read it so I will leave it there.

But as well as navel gazing about their own mistakes, this is exactly the type of thing that shoud be analyzed by the Democrats and in fact by everyone to explain some of the reasons those millions have those views. Even the Right might learn something for their future even though they won this time. Even other countries. We have a TV Reality personality who is looking to trade on the fact his name is known to win the Conservative leadership election shortly. We call him Trump Lite. And he espouses a lot of the same concepts about groups of people, as he saw it worked with the US population.


(It is nonsense to think that there is only one factor as to why elections are won or lost, and the losing team always looks to see what they did wrong so as to do better next time.)




Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha
Topic: Allegations and Lawsuits Against Fox News - Ailes and O'Reilly Both Gone
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 6:05:13 PM
There is a Canadian woman on the list of O'Reilly's accusers and I have known about the problem for some time. But I figured, as she did, that the "Old Boys Club" would protect him forever.

https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2017/04/21/bill-oreillys-canadian-accuser-surprised-by-his-ouster-from-fox-news.html

But - O'Reilly was fired - not because of what he did - which is a shame - but because Fox News got caught and they are trying to make a purchase - it was a business decision. Also, there may be more to the scandal yet to come.

I guess that tells you what some of the executives of Fox News such as Ailes are like - money and business over decency to women.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/04/22/trump-could-get-outfoxed-by-oreilly-firing-burman.html

Coud Trump get outfoxed by O'Reilly firing?

"In an exhaustive piece in The New York Times, it was revealed that Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had reached settlements totalling $13 million (U.S.) with five women who complained of inappropriate sexual behaviour by the Fox host. In spite of the payouts, O’Reilly claimed he was innocent in all cases...First, the Murdoch empire is attempting to purchase the British pay-TV broadcaster Sky, and it needs the approval of the U.K. media regulator. British opponents to the proposed sale have been pointing to the O’Reilly controversy as evidence that the Murdoch family is ill-equipped to expand its control of U.K. media. O’Reilly’s firing is intended to deal with that issue.
And second, there is widespread speculation within Fox that there is more to come in the O’Reilly scandal. The decision to oust the cable host came after an outside law firm investigated the charges. The quick response by the Murdochs suggests to many that the firm uncovered more than what has been
made public so far."

Is it surprising to anyone that Trump defended O'Reilly, his friend?

So now I understand why Trump was always praising Fox News and is always spouting invective against the mainstream media. Now he will hate "The New York Times" even more, if that is possible.

"Regarded as unthinkable by most media analysts, the ouster ironically would not have happened had O’Reilly’s close buddy, Donald Trump, not been elected U.S. president.
Trump’s recent defence of O’Reilly — “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong” — was an untimely reminder of Trump’s own history of boasting about grabbing women and kissing them without consent. It also helped trigger the explosive backlash by advertisers and women’s groups to the latest revelations about O’Reilly’s apparent sexual misconduct."

::::::::
There is also a Canadian woman, a former "Toronto Star" reporter, who accused Trump of sexual assault.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/10/13/former-toronto-star-journalist-accuses-donald-trump-of-sexual-assault.html

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha

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