Episode 62 -- Religion and Society

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Episode 62 -- Religion and Society

Post  Admin on Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:35 am

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Re: Episode 62 -- Religion and Society

Post  Neon Genesis on Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:59 pm

I think it makes sense that people turn to religion during economic crises as a way to find comfort and security. Jesus' main target audience was poor people after all and he was heavily critical of the rich and materialism. This criticism that religion is for the poor is actually a very ancient criticism of religion. Ancient pagans used to criticize Christianity because it appealed to women, slaves, and poor people, and the early church father Origen surprisingly did not deny this was true. In fact, he argued this was proof Christianity was from God because God's ways were different than man's ways or something like that. But Origen was like of course religion is for the poor and downtrodden of society because religion follows a different way of living than what the rich elite people do. There's one question I have about the link between religion and morality. According to the survey in the podcast, the most secular societies were more peaceful and moral than the most religious societies if I'm understanding it right, but there was a recent study done by the Gallup poll where they found churchgoers were the most tolerant of Muslims: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/20/AR2010012004488.html
A poll about Americans' views on Islam concludes that the strongest predictor of prejudice against Muslims is whether a person holds similar feelings about Jews.

The Gallup poll, released Thursday, also finds that people who report going to religious services more than once a week are less likely to harbor bias against Muslims.
I was curious to know what you guys thought about it and why you thought it was the opposite in the case of Islam that the more likely you were to go to church, the more tolerant you were of Islam. My own hypothesis is that perhaps conservative Christians find more in common with conservative Muslims than they do with godless liberals or with other more pluralistic-friendly religions and because they have more of a common ground with similar social values, conservative Christians might get along with conservative Muslims than say liberal atheists or Wiccans.

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Re: Episode 62 -- Religion and Society

Post  Lausten on Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:49 pm

In "Religious America, Secular Europe?" Peter Berger and other contributors put forward several hypothesis about the connection of relgion and modernity. One of the common threads in the book is that America developed to be pluralistic and that may be the more likely path of societies that are currently modernizing. Secular Europe may be the exception (this was discussed briefly in the show). Europeans wanted to have "freedom from belief", people came to America to be "free to believe".

It would seem you have to make a choice, either start your own country with your religion and try to take over the world, or tolerate others and hope they do the same for you. Unfortunately we have so suppressed all talk of religion in schools that some teachers (certainly a minority) are now confused and think that a child should be stopped if they are bowing their head and clasping their hands during lunch time, likewise some say you shouldn't say "atheist" on school grounds. I think the problems of intolerance have more to do with the lack of understanding across cultures than they do with any one particular dogma. Of course some dogma includes misinformation about other cultures, so sometimes (again a minority) the two go hand in hand.
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