22nd April 2013

“John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth.”

James Somerville

5 Responses to “22nd April 2013”

  1. Panzerbjørn Says:

    While this may be true, I can’t help but think of the old saying:
    “95% of statistics are made up on the spot” 😉

  2. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Same could be said of political party affiliation ~ ba dump dump ching!

  3. The Heretic Says:

    What about atheism? Is that an accident of birth as well? Not that I know many atheists. I don’t. But my family was fairly agnostic (mother theist, father raised Lutheran but antitheist). It gave me an opportunity to think for myself without judgment.

    My sister is a theist. I am most definitely not. I think upbringing and your surrounding family/community have a large impact on your religious affiliation or lack therein.

    And Sinjin is correct concerning politics as well. Although, I refined mine much later as it wasn’t discussed in our household.

    I think much of how we think is directly in response to whether or not we are allowed to think for ourselves. That is assuming a person even wants to think for themselves, and I posit that is not the case for many. Many wish do not wish to stand out and be an individual – they go along to get along. Sort of a self-imposed lockstep. Places of higher learning are no longer there to teach people to think, rather they indoctrinate with a narrow-minded world-view. Very sad.

    When people are taught to think and encouraged to think for themselves then humanity will flourish. Not until then.

  4. Capt'Z Says:

    TH – I was raised religious and ‘found’ atheism by having a skeptical disposition. From my perspective the quote is kinda ‘duh’. If I’d not had indoctrination early in life I’d not have ever been a believer in mystical woo. Still, I think you’re right. I bet the children of atheists are largely atheist themselves but I’m hoping it’s for far better reasons than ‘because dad said so’. I also think you’re correct about many not wishing to stand out. As the Japanese say, it’s the nail that sticks out that gets hammered down. Much easier to believe, or appear to believe, the same way everyone else does.

    Religions are well aware of the need to get ’em young:

    “Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man” – “St.” Francis Xavier

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Mom and Dad were heavily religiously brainwashed and can’t shake off alot of the programming but in more lucid moments have both expressed complete doubt and outright disbelief.

    Politically it is similar, both Republicans early on in life, but Mom abandonned party affiliation mid life and Dad simply resigned himself to being non-political. Mom, for instance, will want to rant about Obama, but when I remind her Romney was the alternative it is hard for her to go on with that.

    I never believed in god and I’ve recently abandonned party affiliation. I think voting party for the sake of political idealism is fraught with all kinds of conflict.

    There simply are some reasonable politicians on either side of the aisle, though not many. Being a adherent to the factioins platform ought to be viewed as a weakness, being well reasoned ought to be championed.

    I don’t find that to be true of the clergy. Not that they are anti-social or otherwise not nice people, but allowing for a reliance upon faith is contaminated thinking, it is unreasonable by very definition.

    When you stay true to your course even when it is clear that you are going off a cliff you are simply not thinking. That’s a problem of just having faith.

    Atheism simply has no such problem. Cliff avoidance requires no faith, just common sense.