What is it about American society that makes the religious faith of immigrant communities atrophy?

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by Thomas, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I've heard similar words about "time" when it comes to being Muslim. Some say they can't pray five times a day - each takes only a few minutes - but they can squeeze in an hour of Family Guy and a half hour of News and "you gotta watch the game!"

    I love Family Guy - still make Salah
     
    wil likes this.
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I am not indicating that it is the only reason....just that the two go hand in hand.
    Yes, the futbol and football gods demand worship...and their followers are notoriously devout.
     
  3. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Thy do hand in hand, but they don't have to. I think you have indicated that conversion is the reason for aid, which I object to.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Literally every mission statement I find includes the mission of spreading the gospel...from the spanish missions in mexico and southwest america..and up the california coast...to South America.... this has again been going on for centuries... Just like the English Empire, the Roman Empire...American Manifest Destiny and our empire building around the world...as with Mormon, Baptist or Catholic Missions...the goal is world domination through conversion to our (whoever we may be) belief system..our form of gov't, our monetary system, or our religion. Whether it was illuminating the indigenous savages around the world...the poor or the needy... the food and care comes with the gospel... As humans we inherently want more people to think and believe like we do...it validates our own belief.

    If you can find one philanthropic religious mission which doesn't.... I'd be very interested... we can find hundreds of thousands that go hand in hand...and yes, maybe they don't have to...but I'd like you to find one, that doesn't include a prayer service, or pamphlet about their belief....or one that is from one religion and promotes other religions. It may be a soft shoe, and not a hard sell...but they are combined.

    http://www.catholicmission.org.au/about-us/who-is-catholic-mission/our-mission
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK.

    Not the point you were making. You called the Catholic missions a 'quasi philanthropic organization' – I refute that and ask for your evidence.

    "quasi" def: supposedly, seemingly, apparently, allegedly, reportedly, professedly, ostensibly, on the face of it, to all appearances, on the surface, to all intents and purposes, outwardly, superficially, purportedly, nominally...

    I have known a missionary (an unsainted saint) who ran a leprosarium in Africa, another who worked in Uganda including running a local hospital, and another who fought for local human rights in S America when priests were being shot for standing up to the government.

    My experience, and I think you'll find it's pretty typical, is there's nothing 'quasi' about it.

    Catholic missionaries are there to spread the 'good news' and they make no secret of it: 'Love thy neighbour'. They are there to bring succour to body as well as the soul, and usually they bring physical aid, comfort and relief, and even when the 'religious' message is rejected, they continue to do so ... If you cannot see/allow that perhaps their motive is the love of their fellow man, and not some 'quasi-' recruitment agenda, that's your problem.

    It's the title of this thread.

    D'you know, I really don't think so — I think that's your experience and you assume it's the same for everyone.

    There is really no reason why 'a new understanding of the surrounding world' is a reason to lose faith in a religion, it's a common assumption that's repeated so often it's assumed to be true ... but it's false.

    Maybe that's your experience because they're the ones you look for to validate your own experience? (The rest — probably the majority — you just don't see?)
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Why?

    Wil, this is such a tired and out-dated argument. The Jesus Seminar tried that and got royally laughed at for their shoddy and assumptive pseudo-scholarship. Suffice to say, where are they now?

    But the Traditions do offer reasoned, rational and logical commentary on the reception and interpretation of texts.

    You choose to see things differently, OK, but you must admit that you cannot refute the arguments of Tradition, nor can you offer a compelling argument in support of your own. So basically you're saying that unless the Tradition falls in line with your opinions, they're 'out of date' and 'unscientific', whereas I would say that more often than not, your arguments are just that.

    Which brings us round and back to the topic — 'What is it about American society that makes the religious faith of immigrant communities atrophy?'

    I would say one of the contribution factors is false assumptions are repeated so widely and so often they are assumed to be true, that subjective opinion over-rules reason and logic.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hey Wil —

    We keep clashing — or perhaps I keep contending — on the same point.

    It seems to me you regard everyone of a Abrahamic faith tradition as having no understanding of science, and believing in the literal-inerrant interpretation of Scripture.

    So your reasoning for why people lapse/leave is because:
    A: A modern education is irreconcilable with faith — it isn't.
    B: All people who believe in the Abrahamic Traditions fall into the flat earth/short earth/creationism, etc. category, the same as the refusal to accept evolution, cosmology, etc. — They don't.

    You seem to base your assertions on taking a worst-case scenario — or the negative aspects of your own experience — and applying it universally.

    You express a rather jaundiced view of institutional religion. Missions, for example, are purely there to make converts. Any ideas of philanthropy, altruism, love-of-neighbour, social justice, etc, is just cover. Again, you'll find a worst-case scenario and apply that to all.

    +++

    For what it's worth, I think one of the reasons for the atrophy in religious belief is the atrophy of spirituality.

    Let me explain — the West has been rationalising religion for the past few hundred years. Ever since the Enlightenment led man to believe that by the use of science he can shape the world in his own image, it's become necessary to erase the image of the Divine. That is the fundamental disagreement between science and religion, and so far the evidence suggests religion is right, science has created moral, ecological, environmental problems which are potentially catastrophic — but there is a blind faith to keep going, science will provide the answer ...

    This has enabled, accelerated and diversified the growth of consumerism, a process wholly invested in by the corporate structures who today have surpassed the nation states in terms of GNP, global influence, etc., and who allow the idea of 'national identity' to continue because that idea and its structures serves as a 'front office', a distraction and a 'heat-sink' for the public to vent their frustrations.

    The mantra of consumerism is underwritten in the ad campaigns: 'Because you're worth it', 'just do it', etc.

    People in the west are loathe to entertain any notion of a spirituality that does not confer a material gain. So yoga, meditation, etc. are popular because 'of what I get out of it', not done for it's own sake, or for the sake of 'It' (be it God, Enlightenment, whatever), it's done because it benefits me, at the very least if there's no discernible effect it allows me to think better of myself. That is not spirituality, that's keep-fit and well-being.

    The 'I'm spiritual but not religious' paradoxical trope is a case in point. The Golden Rule, 'Do unto others...' is not a spiritual statement, it can be idealistic or pragmatic, but it has nothing really to do with spirituality, other than a certain sentimentalism. Modern pseudo-spiritual practices are measured by the degree of self-love, self-satisfaction, self-contentment, etc. they serve. It's fundamentally self-oriented. That's why people move away from religion, because religion shifts the focus away from the self.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    eacctly what I have been saying about all missionaries. Of course all is a generalization... the lions share? Again...someone point me to a religious philanthropic mission that teaches love thy neighbor but makes no attempt to convert the locals to their mission... I would like to see just one...but contend my lion's share of all missionaries are there to spread THEIR VERSION of the 'good news' and they make no secret of it

    So make another attempt and do a better job of it. Post billboards around the country and Memes all over the internet saying "No! We don't take it all literally! That would be Stupid!" "Nobody turned into a Pillar of Salt, that is metaphor" "Nobody fought with G!d at the river, that is allegory" "The universe and our world was not created in seven days, or seven eons and we know the order of creation is not science...but an early concept of belief"


    Lol...I go to a Bible based Christian church... And don't believe either of those....and you are fully aware of that. I will stand at the pulpit or on the podium though and repeat....it is Abrahamic that do (believe in your A&B)...that are causing the atrophy you ask about. It is those that do...that cause kids to go "wait, what??" and when it is jammed down their throat again are ready to run as far as they can. Just as Muslims of faith all over have stood up (granted when they live in an area where it is safe to do so), stood up and publicly said "No these are improper interpretations...this is NOT ISLAM...these are people warping our religion for a terrorist agenda" Christians need to say the same about the short earthers.

    And of course I have confirmation bias....just as you have...nothing new here.

    If you want to blame the atrophy of religion on people themselves and not the way religion itself is portrayed by the religious... Religious folk around the world will shrinking and whinging in the same way for centuries to come. Why did the roman or greek or norse theologies fall out of favor...Because new information came along ...Well new information has come along....and while our beliefs may change....if the religions don't change...they will end up in the same bucket.... taught in class but not in the new churches.

    Lastly....I've repeatedly explained

    What is it about American society that makes the religious faith of immigrant communities atrophy?

    you simply don't accept it.... You have enlightened me over the years as to your belief...and the fact that in the UK and in Europe you don't have the literalists beating the drum...you don't have a literal biblical creation museum which gets millions of visitors since it has opened...so much money has flowed into it...it is expanding. I am trying to enlighten you as to what goes on as acceptable in America...and how these same holier than thou Evangelicals fought against women's rights, black civil rights, used the bible in a fight to continue slavery, and now fight any LGTBQ discussion... Our world and society is moving on....and they are doing everything they can to hold on to their literal beliefs....Beliefs that I believe you yourself would shake your head at in amazement and dismay.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-atheism-agnostic-secular-nones-rising-religion/
     
  9. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    Is it an "either/or" situation with literal and metaphorical?

    I think often not. In my faith we have the same issue - Fundamentalists & Sufis - its like extremism on both ends. I try to seek a balance.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I suppose it may be time to look at the supposition of the question.... since I can't get anywhere with an answer....Is the US any different that the UK or Europe?

    upload_2018-4-13_11-38-58.png

    So maybe first we can try to discern why the US is not on the list and what all those European countries and countries associated with UK are? And why the Americans are pointed out in the question as being an issue regarding religiosity.

    If you'd like to look read the entire article or look more closely at the map and use its interactivity.... click below.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/most-religious-countries-in-the-world/
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    As to my conjecture that it may have to do with knowledge of the world and not isolation of only learning from your religious leaders....you know, causation, correlation, coincidence....

    Internet connectivity as percentage of population.

    upload_2018-4-13_11-52-56.png

    upload_2018-4-13_11-55-18.png


    While I am ready to be accused of saying "religious people are stupid"....it is not what i am saying.... you make your own determination as to what these three maps mean in relation to each other and I am quite interested in hearing your points.

    My interpretation as I stated before is that the larger your world view...the more you have traveled, the more connected you are to information, the more education you have received the more likely you are to become less religious, and/or less literal in your beliefs....there are exceptions of course on both sides.

    I'll expand that to say the more isolated you are from the world and education outside of your religious beliefs the more likely you are to partake in religious beliefs which are in fact considered mythology by Christian Missionaries of all varieties...you know the places they go to convert the savages...

    It looks like most of the door knocking and missions are concentrated in the US and Europe....the areas where religiosity (specifically Christian religiosity as Judaism seems to be holding its own and Islam is growing (mostly due to immigration and population replacement)...
     
  12. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    This is such a bizarre request, to me. It would be like debating if water can exist outside a cup and then ask for a picture of a cup of water without the cup.
    Would you help a fellow man? Do you need to indoctrinate the people you help?
    Then why the F would a Christian!?
    Your views on religion are condescending and tiresome. I need a break.
     
    Thomas and Namaste Jesus like this.
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I am a Christian, and I don't need to proselytize when helping others. When I went to Standing Rock...I did not preach to the Lakota... I listened. I am doing my darndest to separate facts from opinions on this matter.

    And twice I've inquired of the thousands of missions and millions of missionaries... I am just looking for one to prove your point....that they don't have to.

    Individual Christians, Muslims, Humans of all varieties help others every day, probably every second there are hundreds if not thousands helping people without any expectation.... But...if a religious or political organization goes out of their way to help...it is accompanied by a marketing pitch. I am not saying...ALL...I am saying the lion's share, most of them....but I'd sure like to find one that doesn't, that isn't. And I get lambasted for asking? It is condescending to ask for any evidence that what you say is true?
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Same here ...
     
  15. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I think maybe the failure of NY Mayor Bill Blasio's call to boycott Chick fil A could indicate a sizable disinterest or even rejection of the growing anti-religious mentality here in the US.

    Maybe there's more resistance to Secularism than what I've been seeing?
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    While I have run into the anti religious or what I refer to as fanatical atheist crowd...most folks I run into that aren't religious are just plain lapsed religious or irreligous... they don't care. They aren't out protesting ten commandments on buildings or in public squares... they are more live and let live.

    Like anything there is a small vocal crowd in every group... and often the rest of the populaiton generalizes all the rest of that group they can lump together as complicit.

    It happens with these athiests that spew religous hate making folks thinking all athiests are the same way....

    we can easily list similar...

    It happens with all X that Y making people think all Z are the same way....

    x, y, z

    animal rights activists, break labs/throw blood on furs, vegetarians

    2a advocates, use NRA talking points, gun owners

    priests, violence against children, priests

    scout leaders, violence against children, scout leaders

    youth, eat tide pods on video, millenials/genzeers

    radicalized Muslims, become terrorists through warped hadiths and imams, Muslims

    etc...etc...etc

    In my viewpoint 99% of people simply want to live thier lives, the 1% make the news, get viral reposts and we think it is alll....our perceptions are our own fault.

    We need to quit blaming others for our perceptions.
     
  17. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I think you're right - maybe the 99 to 1% could be a little much - but yeah, over the last 7-8 years I've become convinced that an anti-religious attitude was just overwhelming America - and that's on me, I know how the media works & the entertainment industry.

    I just wonder how much of it is truly apathy.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Religion is close to imperative when it includes shunning from the family and community....this was mentioned early in this thing called freedom.

    Religion with fire and brimstone scares folks into compliance...

    When the gods are implicated in floods and plagues and thunderstorms we are more willing to sacrifice both virgins and our time.

    When we can watch the cold front accompanied by thunderstorms and tornado possiblities roll across the country headed towards us and move to shelter without fear of someone who is pissed tossing lightning bolts at us... things change... I don't think we call it apathy...but understanding.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Tibhirine, a Trappist monastery in Algeria (Subject of the movie "Of Gods And Men"). The mission station rub by Fr Franco, our family friend in Uganda, before it was ejected by Idi Amin. The leprosarium run by another family friend in Africa.

    Lesson was learned Wil, it's just you who won't accept it.

    Nope. I'm balanced, I see the faults. You're biased, that's all you see.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The implication here seems to be that the cause of decline is because people who hold a faith position are generally naive, backward, small-minded, ill-educated, etc.?

    I fail to see what aspects of a general 'larger world view' actually undermines the reason and rationality of a religious belief?

    From my own pov, the west is driven by corporate interests, fuelling a consumer-centric egoism, something I regard as subversive in that it narrows the horizons of the mind to the empirical and the 'philosophy of relativism' (my subjective experience transcends objective truth) and reduces an holistic and all-encompassing spiritual life – the all-in-all — to a self reflective self reverence.

    If the first revolution was a move from a geocentric to a heliocentric world view, over the last century or so we've seen a move from a heliocentric to an anthropocentric world view. It's about 'me' – 'my' rights, 'my' freedoms, 'my' choices ... as the Buddhist neuroscientist commentator Matthieu Ricard says, the larger world view declares it's my right to be led by the nose by whatever whim happens to catch my fancy that day ...

    That, I would suggest, is far more corrosive and insidious than your supposed naive, small-minded, ill-educated religious waking up to the real world.

    +++

    I'll not bother listing names of Catholic notables who have travelled the world, who have made significant contributions to developments in every field of human endeavour, who hold high academic positions and who thus rather wash away the spurious foundation of your argument. I am in no doubt the same could be said of Islam, Judaism, and probably all world religions.

    Louis Pasteur was once praying the Rosary on a train when a young man criticized his devotion as a manifestation of scientific ignorance. Pasteur simply had to introduce himself to dispel this spurious charge of superstition. (I wonder if that young man on the train realised that his faith in science was more superstition than Pasteur's faith in God.)

    The world view of which you speak was shaped by people like Gregor Mendel, father of genetics. Giuseppi Moscati, one of the first to use insulin in the treatment of diabetes. Henri de Broglie, Nobel prizewinner for his work on quantum mechanics, with the wave-particle equation that bears his name. Or Georges Lemaître, priest and professor of physics at Leuven, author of the Big Bang Theory. John Polkinghorne, physicist and Anglican vicar. Bernard Longergan's General Empirical Method and theories of knowledge ...

    As Galileo said, a Catholic for his entire life: "The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go… "

    Georges Lemaître noted: "Once you realize that the Bible does not purport to be a textbook of science, the old controversy between religion and science vanishes... "


    And with it, your arguments.
     

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