Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Why Does it Matter If We Think G-d Loves Us?

 

imageThe odds of a man deciding that he will jump off a building and try to fly like Superman are much better if the man is convinced that he is, in fact, Superman. In other words, what we attempt to do — regardless of whether we succeed or get scraped off of the sidewalk — is governed by what we think we can do. Our worldview is an essential precondition for the actions we voluntarily undertake.

Our beliefs matter. Even whether or not we have beliefs matters: A person who thinks that G-d loves him and is involved in every facet of his life will act differently than a self-described rational atheist. True, an accountant in a big firm may make the same decisions whether or not he believes that G-d exists. But in other situations, a person’s beliefs can make all the difference in the world. It is the religious person who will take risks that a rational person will not: Perhaps committing to an early marriage, starting a business, or in trying to invent new things. A leap of faith requires faith.

None of this is speculation or even particularly novel: It is merely an observation of what we already know. And I think that, at least at some level, causality is equally as obvious as the correlation. People who blow themselves up to kill random strangers are often driven by a sincerely-held belief that it is the right thing to do. People who do not share those same beliefs about the virtues of suicide bombing do not become suicide bombers.

To go even further in this summary of what should be blindingly obvious: The beliefs that lead a person to take a risk do not need to be based in provable fact. This is convenient for those of us who are religious, because we cannot logically prove to the satisfaction of every thinking atheist in the world, the existence of G-d.

I have a friend who — many years ago, when we were both in university — decided to become an observant Jew. He explained himself as follows:

“I don’t know what I believe. But I do know that the facts are plain enough: I look around campus, and I see that the kids who are working hard and avoiding overuse of alcohol and drugs are the orthodox ones. So, if I want kids like that, I should be observant, too.”

A purely utilitarian defense of religious observance was a strange argument to me but, in the years since, I’ve found it makes an increasing amount of sense, because it speaks to the primacy of outcomes.

As my friend might have put it: Some beliefs, regardless of any underlying truth, lead to far more successful results than others.

I happen to believe that G-d is intimately involved in my life, and this belief changes just about everything. The way we see the world dictates how we act in it. If, when I wake up at 3 AM, I think it is merely accidental, then I am likely to promptly go back to sleep. But if I think there must, somehow, be a reason that I have woken at 3 AM, then I will check my email first to see if there is something I am supposed to do. Confirmation bias kicks in, and I rarely regret waking at 3 AM.

The same applies to “stray” thoughts that come to me, usually in prayer. I could shrug these thoughts off as a distraction (most people do), or I can choose to see them as things I am supposed to consider or act upon. It all comes down to one basic question: Do I believe that my present existence is essentially the result of a long series of coincidences, however improbable? Or do I think that a Creator is responsible, a Creator who can be intimately involved in every aspect of my life, seeking to grow and develop together with me?

There is no way to prove whether G-d exist and I am satisfied with that; If we could prove this either way, then we would not have the freedom to choose what we believe. And there is far more beauty in choosing a relationship than in one that is imposed.

But I think that it is equally obvious that the decision to have a relationship with G-d or not should be a central question in our lives. Religious people make very different choices than do atheists. We are more able, paradoxically, to make changes in our lives because we are listening for, and give serious consideration to, stray thoughts.

It stands to reason that a person’s ability to grow becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some believe that people cannot change and I am willing to accept that, in their case, this is so. After all, by stating that belief, they have created that reality for themselves. But I also know, from first-hand knowledge of myself and countless others, that if we believe that we can change, then it surely is true.

Here is the punchline: There are chapters in the Torah (starting at Lev. 26:21) dedicated to explaining G-d’s perspective on these dueling worldviews. The end of Leviticus tells us that G-d wants us to hearken to Him and His commandments, to live as if G-d is involved in our lives. Not surprising. But the Torah in these chapters tells us about the alternative as well: The contrasting position is to act with keri, a word that appears in a tight cluster seven times in the Torah (26:21, 23, 24, 26:27, 26:28, 40, 41), and nowhere else in the entire document. (The number seven corresponds to seven days, which could be understood as “all the time”, as in 24×7.)

What does keri mean? Maimonides translates it as “chance,” the idea that events in our world are purely statistical, that everything that happens is nothing more or less than the result of impersonal forces in the universe. In other words, the Torah is warning us against what is today the normative secular view that G-d either does not exist, or does not care about us. How could an all-powerful deity care whether I thank him for my food, or consider what he will think if I say an unkind word about someone? And to even ask that question is to wonder whether keri is really the governing principle, not a Creator at all.

Why does the Torah care how we see things? The answer connects directly back to the beginning of this essay: G-d knows that we can grow as individuals — and improve the world around us — if we believe such growth and improvement are possible.

The lesson is simple enough: Our lives have meaning if we think that they do. Our thoughts create our reality, not the other way around.

There are 58 comments.

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  1. Kay of MT Member

    A very moving post, iWe. And oh so true. Thank you.

    • #1
    • June 9, 2016, at 3:37 PM PDT
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  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Awesome, iWe. Thank you.

    • #2
    • June 9, 2016, at 4:05 PM PDT
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  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hope precedes action. Willful belief enables resilience.

    There’s a scene in the sci-fi movie Serenity that irks me but nevertheless contains a grain of truth. The character “Shepherd Book” tells the hero to believe… anything. He doesn’t care what — just believe. Passionate, resolute belief is energizing, motivating, sustaining.

    When hippies complain about organized religions generally as sources of conflict, an honest assessment would translate “religions” into “strong beliefs”. Strong beliefs motivate people to bold actions.

    When those strong beliefs are unmoored from truth and love, people suffer. What we believe matters (obviously).

    • #3
    • June 9, 2016, at 4:20 PM PDT
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  4. TG Thatcher

    Thank you for sharing this, iWe.

    • #4
    • June 9, 2016, at 5:00 PM PDT
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  5. Boss Mongo Member

    iWe: A leap of faith requires faith.

    My personal analogy: I’m a big knife guy; quality knives, everywhere. To include the chrome-encased butcher’s block that holds every shiny and wavy (damasque, highly polished) blade one might want to see. My infant child only sees the beautiful, shiny things that come out of the butcher’s block, and wants to play with them.

    When she is denied access to the “pretty shinies” she is incensed, bangs on the floor, and throws her toys about. But as her parent, I keep her from interacting with these beautiful things until she has the awareness not to cut herself to ribbons.

    If you have faith, and you’re not getting what you want, maybe the Big Guy is a drill instructor: Suck it up, Cupcake. You’ll understand later.

    • #5
    • June 9, 2016, at 5:09 PM PDT
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  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Proven psychological concept: do the behavior and the belief will follow. I wrote about this on my own blog recently.

    https://rushbabe49.com/2016/04/09/conquering-my-revulsion/

    • #6
    • June 9, 2016, at 5:33 PM PDT
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  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Action also depends upon hope in oneself. If one’s cause is good but one sees no hope of advancing it, one doesn’t act. If one is capable of action but has ceased believing in oneself after repeated failures, one doesn’t act.

    • #7
    • June 10, 2016, at 6:23 AM PDT
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  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    iWe: The same applies to “stray” thoughts that come to me, usually in prayer. I could shrug these thoughts off as a distraction (most people do), or I can choose to see these thoughts as things I am supposed to consider, or act upon. It all comes down to one basic question: do I believe that my present existence is essentially the result of a long series of coincidences, however improbable? Or do I think that a Creator is responsible, a Creator who can be intimately involved in every aspect of my life, seeking to grow and develop together with me?

    I’ve been thinking about this comment and went back to read it. I’ve felt for a long time that “stray thoughts,” such as those that come up when I meditate, might be a message from G-d. For me, with my tiny practice, that seems arrogant. But it gives me comfort.

    • #8
    • June 10, 2016, at 7:29 AM PDT
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  9. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: I’ve felt for a long time that “stray thoughts,” such as those that come up when I meditate, might be a message from G-d. For me, with my tiny practice, that seems arrogant.

    Not arrogant at all! That is part of my point. If G-d IS talking to you, then how and when would He do it?

    I think G-d probably talks to everyone, but it is in a still, small voice – so we are not even sure it is there. Not many people are listening.

    • #9
    • June 10, 2016, at 8:00 AM PDT
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  10. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    iWe:I happen to believe that G-d is intimately involved in my life, and this belief changes just about everything. The way we see the world dictates how we act in it. If, when I wake up at 3 AM, I think it is merely accidental, then I am likely to promptly go back to sleep. But if I think there must, somehow, be a reason that I have woken at 3 AM, then I will check my email first to see if there is something I am supposed to do. Confirmation bias kicks in, and I rarely regret waking at 3 AM.

    I don’t doubt this, but I’m not sure I’d be quick to apply it generally. People often get very strange, counterfactual notions upon waking and I can think of plenty of cases in which I would do everything in my power to encourage them not to try to read anything into these fleeting thoughts.

    And I’m not just talking about crazies; plenty of perfectly sound people are apt to look for meaning in instances that any. It’s something people are naturally inclined to do.

    • #10
    • June 10, 2016, at 8:34 AM PDT
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  11. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    iWe:But in other situations, a person’s beliefs can make all the difference in the world. It is the religious person who will take risks that a rational person will not: Perhaps committing to an early marriage, starting a business, or in trying to invent new things. A leap of faith requires faith.

    Are these things impossible absent religious faith, or merely less common? I’m not denying a causation, only what I’m reading as an implicit assumption that it is the only causation.

    • #11
    • June 10, 2016, at 8:37 AM PDT
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  12. MarciN Member

    My poor mother suffered from schizophrenia, the paranoid type that meant that she would not let anyone get close enough to help.

    When she was admitted involuntarily for the second time to Bournwood Hospital in Chestnut Hill, I decided to try to take care of her myself, as her legal (complete) guardian. When I went up to Boston to get her and bring her back to Cape Cod with me (in the belief that I would find medical care and housing for her here), I sat across the desk from a Dr. Green, who said most emphatically, “You are making a big mistake. She won’t last two weeks.”

    Hah, Dr. Green, she lived twenty years on Cape Cod, and she got to know her grandchildren.

    It wasn’t easy. There were many times when I said, “Okay, God, you got me into this. I need help! Your help, specifically.”

    But she had a little bit better life because I took that leap of faith. I wished I could have done more, so much more, but she was able to live a little better than she had been.

    It was a great lesson to my kids who were able to see that God and prayer sometimes make the impossible possible.

    Great post, as always. Thank you. :)

    • #12
    • June 10, 2016, at 9:19 AM PDT
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  13. KC Mulville Inactive

    iWe: I think G-d probably talks to everyone, but it is in a still, small voice – so we are not even sure it is there. Not many people are listening.
    If G-d IS talking to you, then how and when would He do it?

    Much of the discipline of prayer is based on that very, very important question.

    However, just to add to the conversation, part of the Jesuit prayer discipline is to acknowledge that God isn’t the only one talking, nor even the only one talking with a still, small voice. (–Pause while atheists make a joke about hearing voices. It’s a way of speaking. Let’s move on.–) The other voices are the culture, your education, your upbrining, and most often, your own wishes and desires. We also believe in The Enemy, who actively engages to deceive us.

    God is one voice among others, the trick is in learning to discern his voice from among the others.

    Jesuit prayer starts with the assumption that God is trying to speak to us, and it is our own weaknesses, sins, and limitations that prevent us from listening. In prayer, God is seeking us, not the other way ’round. Prayer is a way for us to get into position to listen.

    • #13
    • June 10, 2016, at 9:21 AM PDT
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  14. Front Seat Cat Member

    People blow up innocent people based on religion- or am I confusing that as an ideology, with religion mixed in? They claim to believe in God –

    One of the biggest examples of the existence of God comes when you encounter the opposite – evil. I am talking about diabolical – you can see it, feel it, and it scares the crap out of you or turns your stomach. Hitler is an example. I have encountered it with family members – and it is a battle like no other – then I see with God’s mercy and intervention, miracles. I know neither are product of imagination or “conditioning” because there is so much evidence, things happen that should not in the physical world. I never realized how real it is – not just an impersonal general concept. Many of the younger generation are not believers and are vulnerable.

    A Catholic priest and exorcist talked about it on a program I watched once. He laughed about it! He said the devil is not very original -constant phone calls at night to disrupt sleep with no one at the other end he said, car won’t start for an important meeting – then it starts, etc. He says prayers and they stop.

    We can see how the devil works in the world to convince people good and evil are a myth – look where we are – anything holy is being attacked, removed, challenged, and society is in a state of confusion and hostility.

    • #14
    • June 10, 2016, at 9:37 AM PDT
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  15. drlorentz Member
    drlorentzJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    iWe: The odds of a man deciding that he will jump off a building and try to fly like Superman are much better if the man is convinced that he is, in fact, Superman.

    This seems an odd starting point for your argument. Jumping off a building is extremely likely to end badly, independent of one’s beliefs. The belief you are Superman will increase the chances that you will decide to do something that’s ill advised but will not change the consequences of that decision. Wishing doesn’t make it so, at least not all by itself.

    As to the role of chance in life, consider Ecclesiastes 9:11:

    I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

    • #15
    • June 10, 2016, at 9:39 AM PDT
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  16. Front Seat Cat Member

    I’ll also add that since the move away from traditional faith, the levels of drug, alcohol and sexual addictions, suicides, criminal activity, and loss of hope has skyrocketed. Is there any other explanation for it?

    • #16
    • June 10, 2016, at 10:04 AM PDT
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  17. drlorentz Member
    drlorentzJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Front Seat Cat:I’ll also add that since the move away from traditional faith, the levels of drug, alcohol and sexual addictions, suicides, criminal activity, and loss of hope has skyrocketed. Is there any other explanation for it?

    Crime rates are down in the US since the 90s. This decline has been well publicized. Suicide rates are fairly flat in the US, declining slightly over the last 50 years. Interestingly, suicide rates have been dropping in some more atheistically-inclined northern European countries (e.g., Sweden). The Netherlands has a lower, and declining, suicide rate than the US.

    Look towards other factors for explanations for these trends.

    • #17
    • June 10, 2016, at 10:18 AM PDT
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  18. Front Seat Cat Member

    drlorentz:

    Front Seat Cat:I’ll also add that since the move away from traditional faith, the levels of drug, alcohol and sexual addictions, suicides, criminal activity, and loss of hope has skyrocketed. Is there any other explanation for it?

    Crime rates are down in the US since the 90s. This decline has been well publicized. Suicide rates are fairly flat in the US, declining slightly over the last 50 years. Interestingly, suicide rates have been dropping in some more atheistically-inclined northern European countries (e.g., Sweden). The Netherlands has a lower, and declining, suicide rate than the US.

    Look towards other factors for explanations for these trends.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/science/drug-overdoses-propel-rise-in-mortality-rates-of-young-whites.html?_r=0

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-suicide-rate-has-risen-sharply-in-the-21st-century/2016/04/21/2b5fa6fe-07d1-11e6-bdcb-0133da18418d_story.html

    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/152935/20160423/how-suicide-rates-in-us-skyrocketed-to-30-year-high.htm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-chau/skyrocking-suicide-rates-_b_9885624.html

    https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-right-thing/201508/could-online-pornography-be-silent-yet-exploding-epidemic

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/01/bg1064nbsp-why-religion-matters

    • #18
    • June 10, 2016, at 10:52 AM PDT
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  19. drlorentz Member
    drlorentzJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The rise in suicide rates is recent and is still lower that at other times within the last 50 years. Distinguish long-term trends from blips. The decline in religious belief is a long-term trend, during which time suicide rates were flat. The decline in the crime rate is real, decades-long, and in direct contradiction to the claim made above.

    Religious decline may have its downsides but rising crime and suicide rates don’t seem to be among them. On the other hand, the rise of religiosity in other quarters (Islam) does appear to have led to some issues.

    Facts are stubborn things.

    • #19
    • June 10, 2016, at 11:04 AM PDT
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  20. Front Seat Cat Member

    drlorentz:The rise in suicide rates is recent and is still lower that at other times within the last 50 years. Distinguish long-term trends from blips. The decline in religious belief is a long-term trend, during which time suicide rates were flat. The decline in the crime rate is real, decades-long, and in direct contradiction to the claim made above.

    Religious decline may have its downsides but rising crime and suicide rates don’t seem to be among them. On the other hand, the rise of religiosity in other quarters (Islam) does appear to have led to some issues.

    Facts are stubborn things.

    Can you corroborate your above statements with statistics from last 30 years? I don’t think what we are seeing is a blip.

    • #20
    • June 10, 2016, at 11:14 AM PDT
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  21. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    drlorentz:

    drlorentz

    drlorentz

    iWe: The odds of a man deciding that he will jump off a building and try to fly like Superman are much better if the man is convinced that he is, in fact, Superman.

    This seems an odd starting point for your argument. Jumping off a building is extremely likely to end badly, independent of one’s beliefs. The belief you are Superman will increase the chances that you will decide to do something that’s ill advised but will not change the consequences of that decision. Wishing doesn’t make it so, at least not all by itself.

    This is why I used the Superman analogy.

    Almost every great idea or innovation or breakthrough in human history can be described as “ill advised” by the innovator’s contemporaries.

    Life should not be comprised of decisions by well-advised committees. We are, as individuals as well as in larger groupings, supposed to make things happen. That requires leaps into the unknown, a tolerance for risk.

    That substantial decisions were in fact good or bad is often not clear except in hindsight.

    • #21
    • June 10, 2016, at 11:14 AM PDT
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  22. dittoheadadt Inactive

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    iWe: If, when I wake up at 3 AM, I think it is merely accidental, then I am likely to promptly go back to sleep. But if I think there must, somehow, be a reason that I have woken at 3 AM…

    I don’t doubt this, but I’m not sure I’d be quick to apply it generally. People often get very strange, counterfactual notions upon waking and I can think of plenty of cases in which I would do everything in my power to encourage them not to try to read anything into these fleeting thoughts.

    And I’m not just talking about crazies; plenty of perfectly sound people are apt to look for meaning in instances that any.

    iWe’s 3am example strikes close to home. For as long as I can remember, it seems every time I wake in the middle of the night, the digital clock reads exactly 3am. This unsettles me. Sometimes (still) I wake up, not know what time it was, and then lay there unwilling to look at the clock lest it read 3:00.

    Minutes go by…and then finally I find the nerve to look. Invariably, now the clock reads 3:00. Had I looked when I woke, it would’ve read something benign, like 2:51.

    I have black hair and green eyes, and my birthday has 3 consecutive sixes (6661).

    I don’t want to look for meaning in my 3am wakeups.

    • #22
    • June 10, 2016, at 12:19 PM PDT
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  23. Z in MT Member

    drlorentz: The Netherlands has a lower, and declining, suicide rate than the US.

    I specifically recently read the exact opposite. So some citations are required here.

    • #23
    • June 10, 2016, at 12:38 PM PDT
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  24. Owen Findy Member

    I don’t see why there could not be a formal atheist social structure (with a code of ethics) that, if adopted by a culture, or most people in it, could not, by its nature, result in all the goods you attribute to religion in a religious culture. I don’t know how that structure would look, and I’m not interested in spending the next ten years developing one, but what, in the nature of atheism, precludes this? Don’t tell me you need religion for morality, because I don’t think anyone’s proved that, either.

    • #24
    • June 10, 2016, at 2:22 PM PDT
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  25. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Owen Findy: I don’t see why there could not be a formal atheist social structure (with a code of ethics) that, if adopted by a culture, or most people in it, could not, by its nature, result in all the goods you attribute to religion in a religious culture.

    You assume that people would willingly hold themselves to account for an arbitrary set of guidelines–why? For the good of the culture? Without accountability? You have a higher outlook on human nature than I do.

    • #25
    • June 10, 2016, at 3:19 PM PDT
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  26. drlorentz Member
    drlorentzJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Front Seat Cat: Can you corroborate your above statements with statistics from last 30 years? I don’t think what we are seeing is a blip.

    The two links in my original comment contain data spanning over 30 years for crime and suicide. Please consult those first.

    The decline in crime rates since the 90s has been widely reported and the causes widely discussed, including broken window policing. For more recent data, see the FBI site. Here’s a graph from that site:

    violent-crime

    Regarding suicide rates, the data I linked before covers years through 2007. As the article I linked explains, there was an uptick in suicide rate in the intervening years that has been attributed to”… the period’s severe economic slump.” However, the trend until that time had been slightly downward. Regardless of the reasons for the uptick, it is hard to reconcile these facts with your hypothesis, given that religiosity has been declining for many decades and not just since 2008.

    Another way to look at it is to ponder the headline of one the articles you linked: How Suicide Rates In US Skyrocketed To 30-Year High. Another, less click-bait-y way to convey the same information is Suicide Rate Is About The Same As It Was 30 Years Ago. From that fact, I can say that in spite of the reduction of religiosity over the last 30 years, suicide rates remain about the same.

    (cont. below)

    • #26
    • June 10, 2016, at 3:24 PM PDT
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  27. drlorentz Member
    drlorentzJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s possible you’re still right since it could be true that crime and suicide rates would be even lower if people were more religious. In other words, there are many reasons for the decline in (say) crime rates and more religion would have made the decline even steeper.

    All the social ills you listed originally have many causes and it’s hard to disentangle the effect of one factor from all the rest. For this reason, I think you’d have a tough time showing that religion has an effect in either direction. The simple causal relation between one cause and any of these effects does not hold up, especially since crime is going the wrong way for your hypothesis.

    • #27
    • June 10, 2016, at 3:25 PM PDT
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  28. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Susan Quinn:

    You assume that people would willingly hold themselves to account for an arbitrary set of guidelines–why? For the good of the culture? Without accountability? You have a higher outlook on human nature than I do.

    If the rules were genuinely arbitrary, I’d agree. If the rules could be shown to effectively appeal to an informed sense of justice and/or showed good effects (cultures that ban polygamy have better outcomes, etc.) then that would not be arbitrary.

    • #28
    • June 10, 2016, at 3:28 PM PDT
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  29. drlorentz Member
    drlorentzJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    iWe:This is why I used the Superman analogy.

    Almost every great idea or innovation or breakthrough in human history can be described as “ill advised” by the innovator’s contemporaries.

    Life should not be comprised of decisions by well-advised committees. We are, as individuals as well as in larger groupings, supposed to make things happen. That requires leaps into the unknown, a tolerance for risk.

    The Superman line of reasoning says that jumping off the building is potentially a reasonable choice if it feels right. Yet it is clearly a poor choice based on delusional thinking. There is no Superman. This is emphatically not the assessment of a committee; I can decide on my own that it’s a stupid idea. Perhaps you would agree also (without committee help). Successful innovators who faced resistance in the past were not promoting courses of action based on delusional thinking.

    If a person designs a jetpack and decides to jump off a building, he’s not pretending to be Superman (who relies on his superpowers). The decision may still be ill-advised but at least it was arrived at via a different process than simply declaring, “I feel that I have the powers of Superman!” or “I heard a voice at 3 am tell me I can fly.”

    iWe: That substantial decisions were in fact good or bad is often not clear except in hindsight.

    No hindsight required to decide that jumping off a building in cape and skivvies is bad.

    • #29
    • June 10, 2016, at 3:41 PM PDT
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  30. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Owen Findy: Don’t tell me you need religion for morality, because I don’t think anyone’s proved that, either.

    I think it is pretty clear that morality depends on the defined moral code. There is no one moral code, and the differences between them could be enormous.

    Today’s secular society has made a moral crusade self-defined gender for children who are not old enough to know whether they are hungry or just tired, as well as reflexive nature-worship.

    Unlike many religious people, I do not believe there is Natural Law (either found through analysis of empirical observation or logical deduction), and every attempt to prove one ends up in conflict with someone else’s definitions.

    I think the data shows that, absent belief in religion, every person’s moral code, in extremis, reverts to “Might Makes Right.”

    • #30
    • June 10, 2016, at 3:49 PM PDT
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