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OldNick
New Member

6 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  00:06:46  Show Profile Send OldNick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While responding to another post I found some rather troubling matter on how atheists are statistically less likely to have children, and are thus facing being demographically marginalized. It is comforting that atheism has been enlarging its think-base over the past century, due to persuading less fundamental theists. But are we in danger of being marginalized by the increasingly fundamentalist, stupid, but evolutionarily successful religioulous?

http://www.moreintelligentlife.com/story/faith-equals-fertility
http://bhascience.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-do-atheists-have-fewer-kids.html

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art of all. - Andy Warhol

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  00:23:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by OldNick

While responding to another post I found some rather troubling matter on how atheists are statistically less likely to have children, and are thus facing being demographically marginalized. It is comforting that atheism has been enlarging its think-base over the past century, due to persuading less fundamental theists. But are we in danger of being marginalized by the increasingly fundamentalist, stupid, but evolutionarily successful religioulous?

http://www.moreintelligentlife.com/story/faith-equals-fertility
http://bhascience.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-do-atheists-have-fewer-kids.html
I've heard similar arguments almost all my life, or at least since I read a story called "The Marching Morons" by Cyril M. Kornbluth.

But I now firmly believe the way intelligence and skepticism reproduces is primarily through memes, not genes. We must continue to spew our memes all over the receptive population, and even onto those who say "no."

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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OldNick
New Member

6 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  00:55:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send OldNick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even within meme theory quantity and quality of parenthood feature as key ways of thought transmission. Also it can be argued that fundamentalist religious memes immunize one to other memes. Thus I think my original concern still has most of its validity (even though it is partly a thought experiment meant to stimulate discussion ).

I think I'm also curious to see what practical benefit holding religious faith has for others. After all we see very few strict nihilists in the world, but many theists (I'm just using these two for example purposes, not to build a false dichotomy). We can thus suppose (as the skeptic Walter Sinnott-Armstrong does), that nihilism carries little practical (evolutionary or other) benefits since its essentially a philosophy of nothing mattering. Its not a 'life' philosophy and disappears (Moral Psychology: The Evolution of Morality: Adaptations and Innateness, MIT press, first chapter or so). But religion stays around, and thus it, as a meme, must benefit its members. There might be the self-comfort aspect for the weaker willed, the greater likelihood of more children, more money for preachers, more people to abuse for sadists, etc. To make atheism truly convincing for those not convinced by argument alone, one must supplant or remove part or all of those benefits.

Why bother you might ask? Because otherwise there is the danger of social marginalization. I'm sure we can all find examples of this happening in the past or present.

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art of all. - Andy Warhol
Edited by - OldNick on 01/30/2010 00:59:48
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  07:33:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So if you replace faith with intelligence, we get this scenario? (Bad words in that clip.)

No. Despite efforts like the Quiverfull Movement, the percentage of people in the U.S. who claim "no religion" has been rising nicely, with the percentage claiming that they are Christian dropping. While Vermont seems to be leading the nation, even Mississippi had a 2% rise in "Nones" (and a 4% drop in Christians) between 1990 and 2008.

So no, religion doesn't breed true. There are many factors that determine religiousity, but one of the strongest seems to be "societal health":
The take home is this. The standard theories of religion seem to work. The more you regulate religion, the more you turn people off it. The more you modernize the country, the more people abandon religion.

But there is a key missing ingredient that helps to explain why these standard theories are incomplete. And that missing ingredient is societal health.

Nations have choices over how to look after the people at the bottom of the social pile. Those nations that choose to make this a priority, which inevitably involves shifting money and resource from the rich to the poor, lower the overall levels of stress. And when you remove the stress caused by their social situation, people tend to lose interest in religion.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  10:53:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You're acting like religious views are a skin colour or genetic defect that needs to be bred out of the population. You do realise it's a choice and that some form of eugenics race is not the answer.

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cantbe323
Suspended

242 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  13:37:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send cantbe323 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm also curious to see what practical benefit holding religious faith has for others. >>

Well, my preacher dad and mom lived a relatively peaceful life, as did my older brother, but my oldest daughter got the most benefit. Converting to Chistian belief actually saved her sanity and life.

cantbe323
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  16:41:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by cantbe323
Converting to Chistian belief actually saved her sanity and life.
I don't believe you.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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