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What's with the uptick in religious fundamentalism on ATS

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posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:34 AM
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I'm a journalist by trade, and when I originally began reading a year or two ago I found this to be a site to get a lead on interesting events going on terrestrially and otherwise and to read some reasonably intelligent scientific discussion of events that don't get a whole lot of press.

I'm a trained skeptic and used to really enjoy the give and take with those far more credulous and generally it's been a lot of fun.

But lately I can't open any thread, especially threads related to Obama or 2012 without someone telling me the end times are coming and Obama is the Anti-Christ and that I need to get right with God. And as we all know, it is impossible to have a scientific discussion about faith, its counterintuitive, and counterproductive.

Faith... is, and if you believe, well, generally I find that's that. I got no problem with accepting the great unknowable.

But I have always hoped, and used to see more posters adhering to at least the basic principles of scientific inquiry, on this site. What I am seeing now is a complete abandonment of those rules and more and more posters whose skepticism swings towards an abandonment of science altogether. What that means to me is a flood of people who throw evolution, and climate change and 'scientists' into their over-arching vision of a nightmarish conspiracy against the everyman.
To me that's a bit like saying 'gravity is a conspiracy to keep us all down'. It takes away from what I have always thought is a wonderful venue to examine the fringes of 'scientific' thinking.
I find it sad. Any thoughts?


[edit on 14-1-2010 by kenochs]




posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by kenochs
To me that's a bit like saying 'gravity is a conspiracy to keep us all down'. It takes away from what I have always thought is a wonderful venue to examine the fringes of 'scientific' thinking.
I find it sad. Any thoughts?


Actually, "gravity" was created by God to keep us all from floating out into space.

Peace



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:53 AM
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Its a sign of the times.

Whether you are religious or not, you should be able to see what religious influence has done to our race during recorded history. From that you would be able to tell that the kind of increased fundamentalism we are seeing from most the religions at the moment, is a sign of the mood of the people.

You can't just ignore things because you dont agree with them or because you consider yourself "above" such things. The world is as it is, you need to try and understand all of it if you want to provide an accurate picture of the situation.

It is also not impossible to have scientific discussion regarding concepts of faith or theology in particular, we have made advancements in the sciences because of people doing exactly that.

I would have thought a professional journalist would have known that, but whatever. If you dont prescribe to some peoples point of view thats absolutely fine, but in my opinion you should still be trying to figure out why their point of view is like that.

[edit on 14-1-2010 by gYvMessanger]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by gYvMessanger
 

I'm not interested in judging the religious influence just noticing an increase in the amount of fundamentalists commenting.
I do take the world as it is, and so find the increase interesting and worth pointing out, so I'm not ignoring it.
The question was actually meant to elicit a response, positive or negative and to note the decreasing reliance on 'scientific' discussion here and the movement towards eschatology in posts and referring the relevance of events.
Also, as a journalist I don't ascribe meaning to trends, I just note them, if you think that it's a sign of the times, I say, sure that's possible and history does show a rise in fundamentalist thinking during economic hard times and during democratic administrations. Maybe that's part of it.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by Dr Love
 

I thought that's why he invented velcro.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:12 AM
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I think it may depend on what your reading as well.

Obama threads are likely to attract a lot of American's. As an outsider it looks to me that most Americans are either absolutely athiest, new age, or overboard christian. The New Agers dont bring religion into the Obama discussion but Christians will, probably because the mega-churches in America are pushing an anti-Obama agenda and its sunk in and spread.

2012 threads will get New Agers from all over talking about whatever conspiracy or esoteric meaning they place on the subject. Most Christians if they touch the subject will do so from an End Times / Wormwood / Tribulation point of view.

How could you hope to discuss either subject scientificly ? One is Politics and the other is Prophecy. A couple of years ago those who talked about 2012 mainly talked about Planet X / Nibiru but as we get closer to 2012 and no strange thing has turned up like that (plus the massive debunking of Sitchin), its gotten a lot quieter regarding that topic. Now its just falling back on the stories of the Mayan Calander, Timewave Zero (which can only be discussed in pseudo-scientific terms but isnt given much attention on this board) and an assortment of crap that Conspiracy shills have been selling for the last couple of years.

The Ufo forum, Fragile Earth forum etc have a lot more post of the type you would seem to prefer.

[edit on 14-1-2010 by gYvMessanger]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by gYvMessanger
 

Smart and thoughtful, and I accept that, thanks for the reply.

But the thing that prompted this was the sunspot 1040 thread and how quickly that devolved into a discussion of christian eschatology.

Perhaps I wrote before thinking.

Oh well, who's perfect?



[edit on 14-1-2010 by kenochs]

[edit on 14-1-2010 by kenochs]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:22 AM
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The more extreme the religous view, the more frightened they have a tendency to be. To the guy who said gravity was created by God to keep us on the ground, please pick up a basic science textbook. Gravity is caused by mass, not God. Please grow up



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by gYvMessanger
Its a sign of the times.

Whether you are religious or not, you should be able to see what religious influence has done to our race during recorded history. From that you would be able to tell that the kind of increased fundamentalism we are seeing from most the religions at the moment, is a sign of the mood of the people.

[edit on 14-1-2010 by gYvMessanger]


Interestng thought, and very astute. I do find that in times of plenty -- when there is prosperity, security, and rampant hope, the general reaction from all but the most adamant religious folk will become remarkably less religious. The contrast is also true.

I would agree that this is a reflection of the times. The people are feeling hopeless and in despair, thus they turn away from their problems and hide in a cloak of dogma that tells them what is right and what is wrong. We'll probably stay this way until the events of the world naturally spin back around to a more positive note, or a strong leader rises that can inspire the masses to make the change themselves.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by arbiture
 


"Mass" was created by God to explain how gravity keeps us all from floating out into space.

Peace



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by arbiture
The more extreme the religous view, the more frightened they have a tendency to be. To the guy who said gravity was created by God to keep us on the ground, please pick up a basic science textbook. Gravity is caused by mass, not God. Please grow up


With all due respect, arbiture, I do believe that Dr. Love was making a joke with his comment.

Besides, aside from the fact that we don't actually know what really causes gravity (we only know that gravity is influenced by mass, not created by it), so who's to say that is isn't a God-like thing involved?



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:36 AM
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It's probably a phase. Every subject goes through phases here, I've noticed.

And let's be real. Many religious people proselytize. Some use any excuse available to try to save souls or get people to come on their bus. It's part of their religion.

I think you'll see the numbers going down over time. But then they'll come back up again.
I try to go with the flow.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by arbiture
The more extreme the religous view, the more frightened they have a tendency to be. To the guy who said gravity was created by God to keep us on the ground, please pick up a basic science textbook. Gravity is caused by mass, not God. Please grow up


Mass was created by God and thus so was gravity. And he invented science and science books. Please educate yourself.

Still, High Definition TV and Hooters waitresses remain his most stellar creations



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:45 AM
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Another avenue could be that the "sciences" haven't been so clean lately. With the global warming "inquiry" not leaving a good taste in peoples mouths and proposed tax hikes....faith has a lot to do with the economy...believe it.

Perhaps the masses need a "sure" thing and when all else fails, you've always got the invisible friend who could kill all armies and loves you more then any of the those other s.o.b.'s

...it's like going to mom and dads after getting kicked out. It's the ultimate retreat because it is completely made up in one's head and they always " leave a light on for you"

Look at how much money is made off of doom and gloom. I am currently starting to think the 2012 "Hype" was put into motion for the movie. Notice after the movie how much 2012 died down.

People grow skeptical of the media and now the blowback from the "emails"...people like "sure things".

Peace



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by letthereaderunderstand
 

That's an interesting thought as well, the 2012 hysteria as a mass produced global conspiracy thread in order to shill for a movie.

I find that fascinating and am fairly certain that cynical marketers would find it a simple thing to accomplish but I fear that one day the manipulators might find the manipulated banging down their door demanding their heads on a pike.

Also, wouldn't it be nice if there were a sure thing... well beyond the knowledge of our own mortality.





[edit on 14-1-2010 by kenochs]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by kenochs
 


I think Julian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" will shed light on why religion and feelings of faith arise in virtually every single instance of human development and how the vestiges of our past are carried forward into the present through the expression of religious and political structures used for social control.

Brilliant man.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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Okay I have to wade in and say the ENDISNIGHE


Religious fundamentalism, I believe, is actually on the decline.

Not being of a church, but being of a faith, I feel that the people clinging to their views of Armageddon or Endtimes are afraid and they are being whipped into a frenzy on purpose.

I actually feel Obama's stance that he is ultimately responsible for the Christmas terrorist attempt debacle has shown me he either has some great PR guys or that he may be learning how to manage or lead.

Blaming anything or anyone else is NOT how to manage or lead. Anyone in any form of management or leadership role knows this.

That being said-litany against fear-from Dune

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Religious fundamentalism use fear as a weapon, as our government uses it as a tool.

May we become knowledgeable of said controls and set them aside. For we are individuals first and foremost and before anyone can become knowledgeable of any God's intention, one must know their own intentions first.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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Dude, I'm seeing it EVERYWHERE. It isn't just on ATS.
I do know around here though that a lot of the smaller churches practically preach conspiracy theory stuff in their churches - NWO, Satanic rites in the highest offices, ect. right along with end times.
Even the moderate churches are convinced that the end times is here.

I'm not a Christian but I can see their point. I can remember back in the 70's reading those TRUE TIMES Christian prophesy magazines about how the end was coming and the antichrist and all that - and how war in the middle east would be the trigger.

Well after so many years of war in the middle east folks are starting to freak.

You got pagans galore and witches running around and a war on Christmas. Christmas, is nothing sacred anymore? And then gay folks getting married? And that's OK? If the sky ain't fallin' yet, it's fixing too!

Then you have Obama, a black man who is too young and inexperienced to be running - and he's a good talker and OMG he WON. The end is near.

Add some 2012 heathen prophesy on top of it and a financial...depression?...whatever it is...with so much corruption and it seems the NWO has already taken over and no one even noticed it, what do we do now?

Well I am not a skeptic, and I'm not a Christian, I'm one of those pagan witches runnin' around, but even I know that things are changing too fast for some people and that's just the way they cope....and then again, some prophesies are SELF-FULFILLING.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by kenochs
I'm a trained skeptic

And as we all know, it is impossible to have a scientific discussion about faith, its counterintuitive, and counterproductive.

Faith... is, and if you believe, well, generally I find that's that. I got no problem with accepting the great unknowable.

Any thoughts?


[edit on 14-1-2010 by kenochs]


Why would it be counter-intuitive/productive to discuss faith? If one would look at it in a more scientific manner it could be realized that faith is not supposed to be based on the great unknowable or any other unknowable. What makes it a tough debate is both sides see it one sided. This is something the supposed "faithful" and the supposed "faithless" have in common. How does that make for a debate? It doesn't. That is why it is undebatable, at least between them.

For example. If a person of the Christian faith posses a question to a member of their hierarchy let's say about how the existence of dinosaurs fits into the great scheme of things and the response back is "you just have to have faith" isn't this a faith based on ignorance? Is it really what they claim the source of their faith requires of its adherents?

What is actually counter-intuitive/productive is the willingness to accept the great unknowable without using scientific methods in researching whether it actually is an unknowable or not. Could it be scientifically looked into through the reality of what is known to exist, and through the doctrines of the supposed believers, and also from the actual source of information it was supposed to be derived from in the first place?

What you may find is that the doctrine of faith is not really derived from the resource it claims to come from. Has faith come to be known as something it was never meant to be in the first place? This is not only unfortunate for those who religiously accept it but also for those who non-religiously accept it also.

Does it make any sense for anyone to be expected to believe in something they know little or nothing about? That in itself makes no sense at all. Have the non-religious been indoctrinated also? The non-religious seem to base their understanding of faith on the doctrines of the supposed faithful and consider this to be the message that is emanated from its source. It seems the non-religious could also be considered faithful ones. So where is the skepticism in all of this?


[edit on 14-1-2010 by The Riley Family]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:27 AM
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Every time there is a Democrat in the Presidency, right wingers freak out and are sure that their guns will be confiscated, communists are taking over and Godless atheism is looming.
It goes back all the way back to FDR. Fundies are almost always Republicans and are not really critical thinkers. They are also fearful types and inevitably swallow the Repub fear mongering that has been their stock and trade for decades. Both right wing Repubs and fundies thrive on the fear based ideology of an enemy that is just around the corner and must be diligently guarded against, lest disaster befall.
With scary liberal black guy with the Muslim name in office, they are having a paranoid field day. Add to that the devil religion of Islam and the less intelligent among us are once again, certain that the last days are here and disaster is just around the corner again.
And so it goes.



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