Some propose that secularism will continue to rise as people achieve a higher level of security and happiness. In countries such as Japan and Sweden secularism enjoys a high level of existence. The quality of life in these developed countries is among the highest of the industrialized world. So if people feel secure in their daily lives are they less apt to harbor religious convictions? In countries where economic development remains healthy and constant should it be surprising that secularism also experiences growth? Could it be said that religion oftentimes is a crutch for the poor and ignorant of the underdeveloped world?
Correlation does not mean causation.
True, but it also does not mean there cannot be a causal relationship either.
In a more paranoid frame of mind, given our present economic funk, is our 'quality of life' better or worse than 4 years ago?
Could conservative-theist power gamers not be motivated to improve our economy because such conditions could 'wage the dog' for theism?
Religion gives poor and oppressed people (false) hope. When you're prosperous and unoppressed, what do you need hope for? You don't. Hence, less religion.
It is still real hope even if it is based upon false premises. The real bugger is that religious inspired hope is still better than no hope at all.
to you maybe; religious hope is nonsense and wont save you from $#!t!
Last night a gal friend and I helped at a local Food bank. Over 4 hours, it became clear that I was having a tough time keeping myself from having a good old fashined newage male cry. There were so many folks having a tough time, even us, but least we seemed to be making a good showing of survival skills. It was very easy to help support folks as they walked in, but it was very clear that a few were close to their board limits.
One much older woman walked in with a simple roll cart, but arived after the last family, #47, received their number and box desires card. A few of us noticed that she was having a problem with her little cart, and was crying at her chair as she waited for someone to help her. I walked over, turned on my charm and fixed her cart, then talked with one of our organizers to see if we could hold back some food for the woman. I helped her gather her food from what we had left, and then found someone to drive her home so she would not have to walk home in the cold. This little act, for me, seemed to help this woman alot, and allowed others, with the church, to finish their outreach.
I did not try to discuss my reservations about theism, my focus was to do one 'good' thing, and more if possible.
It was good to have about 25 volunteers. A 125 lbs of potatos can be a tough pile to bag into bunchs of 5-10 potatos/bag.
This counts for virtually everyone and is simple psychology. If a person has hope and a belief that life will get better then they are far more likely to be receptive to chances that will help them. If a person has no hope they are far more likely to not even try take chances to make their life better as what is the point, it will only fail in the end anyway.
This is true, Rocky. I think that the source of the hope is less important than the hope itself. If it doesn't make sense to us - so what? At least it's there.
One thing I realised along time ago is that hope/optimism does not need to be 'rational'.
In the presense of some seeming ugly problem, it might be that we have not done/finished our search of the actual decision space/options available to us. Sadly that 'search' could still yield a 'no solution', but if that search is not done we could be 'finished' prematurely. This state can be a major driver of creativity.
We can get stuck in our decision space search. This has happened to me a few times, which can yield an ugly despiration.
The older woman as described, was showing every indication of this despiration. If one stays too long in this state, a 'learned helplessness' can result. We need the, atleast, intermitent success. Downside might be 'magical thinking' , and an excess commitment to one solution for all situations. The trick is to find solutions that offer reliability in result, 'a science'.
While a 'food bank' can help with the problem of 'food', being dependent upon this as the 'only' solution might be dysfunctional. Learning how to grow food, trade for it, raise animals when possible, etc, can put us back into our roots as creators.
I agree, James. When we repeatedly meet with no success, that's when we need "faith".