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Kevin.

Religulous

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1 hour ago, Kevin. said:

the Pope won't even acknowledge the rampant sexual abuse in his own church Alain. Plus, how long did it take the church to say that? 

Again, so what? Apparently the pope agrees mormanism isn't a cult. What's the sexual abuse scandal got to do with this? Are you saying catholicism, or at least it's leaders, are a cult? Strictly from a debate perspective, that might work as a retort. Granted, it probably won't stand up to criticism. Or are you saying that the pope is a devious person? If he's devious, what benefit is there for him to extend that deviance to validate mormanism?

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Why does religiosity drop based on the level of education a person has? 

Is God all powerful, all knowing, and all good?

How can you have access to God's mind when you can explain things, then say He is mysterious when you cannot?

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11 hours ago, ErikS said:

Why does religiosity drop based on the level of education a person has? 

Studies show that among Mormons it actually increases with education.  

http://www.pewforum.org/2012/01/12/mormons-in-america-executive-summary/ (here is a brief discussion of the findings concerning education since you probably won't want to read through the entire report):

religion_zps00vsmcsa.jpg

Religious Commitment
The survey’s questions about the importance of religion, frequency of prayer and frequency of religious attendance can be combined to form a scale of religious commitment. By this measure, nearly seven-in-ten Mormons (69%) exhibit high levels of religious commitment, saying religion is very important in their lives and that they pray every day and that they attend religious services at least once a week. Only one-in-fifty Mormons (2%) exhibit low levels of religious commitment, saying that religion is “not too” or “not at all” important to them and that they seldom or never pray and seldom or never attend religious services. Roughly three-in-ten Mormons (28%) fall somewhere in between, exhibiting medium levels of religious commitment.

Mormons express significantly higher levels of religious commitment on this scale than other religious groups, including white evangelical Protestants (55% high commitment) and black Protestants (50%). Among the U.S. public as a whole, 30% exhibit high religious commitment.

The survey finds a significant gender gap in religious commitment, with more Mormon women than men exhibiting a high level of religious commitment (73% vs. 65%). A similar gender gap is seen among the general public; in the Pew Forum’s 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 36% of women exhibited a high level of religious commitment, compared with 24% of men.

Mormons who have graduated from college display the highest levels of religious commitment (84%) followed by those with some college education (75%). Mormons with a high school education or less exhibit substantially lower levels of religious commitment (50% score high on the scale) than their more highly educated counterparts. These large differences in religious commitment among respondents with different educational backgrounds are not seen among many other religious groups in the population. Among all Christians interviewed in the 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, for instance, 40% of college graduates exhibited high religious commitment on this measure, as did 36% of Christians with a high school education or less. Similarly, religious commitment gaps across levels of educational attainment are fairly muted among white mainline Protestants, black Protestants and white Catholics. Among white evangelical Protestants, however, there is an 18-point gap in religious commitment between those with the highest and lowest levels of educational attainment. In the 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 68% of white evangelical college graduates exhibited high religious commitment, compared with 50% among evangelicals with a high school education or less. 

As the bolding shows your conventional wisdom falls apart if you probe that question a little deeper.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/7729/does-more-educated-really-less-religious.aspx (the above is an example of more recent studies on this question).  The problem with many studies is that they haven't deeply explored the question of what it means to be religious and how that presents itself in the lives of the individual. Instead they focus on certain questions like do you believe in God, do you go to Church and do you accept the Bible.  People may have questions on these topics but as education increases they actually live a religious life and attend church even if they have questions.

As for your other questions if you think reading a little Dawkins or Hitchens or Harris has given you deep insights for tricky questions you'll be sorely disappointed.  I won't play that game.  I know where you're going and the questions are based on false premises and a misunderstanding of that relationship.

 

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7 hours ago, Burn-E said:

 

As for your other questions if you think reading a little Dawkins or Hitchens or Harris has given you deep insights for tricky questions you'll be sorely disappointed.  I won't play that game.  I know where you're going and the questions are based on false premises and a misunderstanding of that relationship.

 

It doesn't take much to just gain some insight.  You can attempt to belittle the points of these men, but you have to realize that outside information, in and of itself, is likely directly correlated with the decline of religious membership.

As soon as you add outside variables to what used to be a very tight equation, the so called truth in that tight equation becomes less and less solid.  I would go so far as to say that religion has been around as long as it has due to constraints on information for so many years, combined with people's desire for traditions.  On that point, I'm very welcome to every person having as much access to information as possible.

Not against what anyone believes... call it whatever you want... He, god, universe, Gaia.  If it empowers someone to do right by others, there's nothing wrong with it.  Personally, I don't need the impending doom from an almighty head to goad me into caring about you as a fellow human being.  Morals are not a religious exclusive.  It's when those religions are used for corrupt purposes that I really have a problem with... and not one, as far as I know.. is exempt from that.

 

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Lucas, I wasn't belittling their points.  I was stating that they intentionally set up straw men that create an approach that allows them to trap the unsuspecting in a construct that they believe defines man's relationship to God and allows them to "win" the debate while making the believer look like a fool.

I actually believe more information is what is necessary to help the believer become stronger not weaker in their relationship with God.  We teach and the motto of my alma mater BYU is, "the glory of God is intelligence." This is part of the reason why college educated Mormons tend to be more religiously engaged than the lesser educated. The problem is when people establish a belief in something that they do not fully understand in a childlike manner then when difficulties arise they blame the failure on God rather than their own misunderstanding of the world and how our life's experience fits into the whole reason we individually are here.  See, Erik's next response was going to be if God is all omniscient, omnipotent and divine (all good) then why does He allow terrible things to happen?  Why does He sit idly by and not interfere?  Why do some people claim a miracle when their baby is healed when so many other families suffer the loss of their children? Why does evil exist if God is all powerful?

So yes, if people see God as a gift giver they can implore like Santa Claus to make their lives better then certainly they'll be bitter when they don't get what they want. Religion properly framed should give the adherent a means for connecting with God while recognizing their personal roles and responsibilities in life.  

A few examples:

Religion that castigates science and fails to recognize that faith and science are just two sides of the same coin fails. I don't believe the world was made in seven days.  Seven time periods?  Certainly over millions if not billions of years.  I don't believe the entire world was flooded.  A small region, a few valleys? Sure.  I don't believe the principles of evolution and adaptation are incompatible with how life was developed, including man, on Earth. The question is at what stage was man as the Bible describes him introduced?  I don't adhere to the principles of Intelligent Design but I do believe we have a creator.  I know there is so much scientists do not yet understand that will eventually dramatically change how we understand the world. I know that prayer has a power that even doctors recognize and cannot fully explain.

When televangelists like Joel Osteen claim a prosperity gospel and use the Word to enrich themselves and claiming that God is just waiting to bless everyone? Fails.  

When priests abuse boys and then Bishops cover up for them?  I would reject what they're trying to sell also.  

Religion isn't magic.  Connecting with God requires faith.  He is found in serving those around you, especially those in the dregs of society who most would reject.  The Bible in the book of James states, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."  To know God is to know a life of service.

As for your comment on truth, it actually becomes stronger as greater light and transparency is cast upon the questions asked.  There is such a thing as absolute truth. Finding it is not hard but recognizing and accepting it can be a challenge.

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That is 9 year old data and then using a very small religion to show how Mormons do the opposite. I grew up in Eastern Washington and had many Mormon friends, if they were still Mormon in college chances were they stayed that way.

I wonder if there is new data ... don't be lazy Alain sticking to the first coupe of links you can pull up when you search ;)

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

I am referring to global scale on how intelligence and level of education do not correlate with religiosity, especially in other developed first world countries.

2 hours ago, Commander Riker said:

I'm very welcome to every person having as much access to information as possible.

Funny you should mention that.  I sat in on a lecture today by Daniel Levitin at my conference.  Did you all know we have created more new information in the last 4 years, then we have in the rest of human history ..

The task now is not having everyone gain access to the information, the internet has solved that problem - the challenge is using that information in creative ways and empowering others to distinguish between fact and fiction, misinformation and truth.

The one "faith" I have is that religion, any religion, is bound to a limited and static set of information, you can't add pages to the Bible or Koran.  In the end it will limit the power it has over people, it will only take time.

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I pointed the Gallup poll as one example.  The more important poll was the Mormon one I discussed which was released 3 years ago and validates my point and disproves your original statement.  I'm less worried about other faiths because I know the impact we are having.

When a Church believes in continuing revelation we're hardly limited by a single book Erik. Nor do we have any concerns about increasing information.  We see a benefit from it. And no we don't feel there is a static perspective as you claim. Just as God once spoke to prophets in the biblical days so does He once again today.

I can show you more recent surveys beyond just Pew and Gallup I just haven't had time to pull them out from the pile on my desk at home so yes, I was lazy and pointed to a poll I knew offered a view. 

 

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So if the Abrahamic religions and LDS center around a god proving existence by speaking and showing miracles, at what point do we get to see a re-appearance? It seems like it would make sense if religion was nose-diving to repeat Act 1.

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What makes you think similar miracles aren't happening today Alden?  We would have to go rather deeply into theology to explain why seeing religion nose dive at this time is not really a surprise. It's actually anticipated.  And not in the apocalyptic terms that some consider.

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2 minutes ago, Burn-E said:

What makes you think similar miracles aren't happening today Alden?

IF I had faith, I'd figure there's probably some happening now. But apparently whatever's going on isn't serving as much for evidence. I don't see the Pope saying god gave him a status update yesterday and pulling out a new tablet that says "11: Carbs are a sin".

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I could point you to various videos available online. It's not like the prophet and Apostles aren't providing guidance.

But again your assumption is that God would provide big miracles to convince everyone. In general that's not how it has ever worked except on a few select occasions.

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Kevin...you should consider finding something to do other than read biased information online all day, or at least use some tact and just share those processed thoughts with like-minded people.  Even though you said you aren't, you display all the badges of a card-carrying liberal.  

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On 5/6/2016 at 3:32 PM, Burn-E said:

Religion that castigates science and fails to recognize that faith and science are just two sides of the same coin fails. I don't believe the world was made in seven days.  Seven time periods?  Certainly over millions if not billions of years.  I don't believe the entire world was flooded.  A small region, a few valleys? Sure.  I don't believe the principles of evolution and adaptation are incompatible with how life was developed, including man, on Earth. The question is at what stage was man as the Bible describes him introduced?  I don't adhere to the principles of Intelligent Design but I do believe we have a creator.  I know there is so much scientists do not yet understand that will eventually dramatically change how we understand the world. I know that prayer has a power that even doctors recognize and cannot fully explain.

I never understood the "7 literal days of creation" either. If God didn't create the sun, moon and stars until day 4, where are these "literal days" drawn from?

I'm not sure on the flood, but I lean more towards the whole world was flooded. Why do you disagree? I also think something dramatically changed in the Earth's atmosphere when this happened (water from heaven and Earth both flooded the Earth, Genesis 7:11); "man's years" were cut short at the same time (Genesis 6:3), perhaps because of the change.

I agree that the "principals of evolution" could have possibly been used in creation, so long as "scientists" that come up with these theories actually stick with the actual rules of science to derive those principals. But that doesn't mean we have enough "evidence" or that we've created a perfect model to substantiate these theories as a fact. I actually think there too much evidence against them for them to be (even remotely) 100% accurate.

As far as "what stage was man as the Bible describes him introduced"... That's also an interesting topic. If Adam and Eve were the first 2 people created by God, and Cain and Abel were their first 2 sons (I don't think the Bible technically says this, but it is assumed)... then who is the "whoever" referred to in Genesis 4:14?

I also agree about prosperity theology. Too many people think God is a genie in a bottle; there when he's called to help you out, then put back in the bottle when you get what you want.

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On 5/6/2016 at 2:32 PM, Burn-E said:

 See, Erik's next response was going to be if God is all omniscient, omnipotent and divine (all good) then why does He allow terrible things to happen?

No.  Its the same when modifying cars.  You can't build a cheap, fast, and reliable car - you can pick two, you can't have all three.  When a monotheistic religion says god is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving its the same thing. You can't have all three.

Why are you a Mormon Alain?  Is it because your parents were Mormon.  If you were born into a Catholic, Hindu, or Jewish family do you think you would have still found the Mormon faith?

Do you think your faith is a business?

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