A new Gallop poll (a Values and Beliefs Survey) indicates that 4 out of 10 Americans believe 'God' created the Earth and modern humans (independently from evolution) from 6 to 10 thousand years ago. Per the article:
Four in 10 Americans believe God created the Earth and anatomically modern humans, less than 10,000 years ago, according to a new Gallup poll....About half of Americans believe humans evolved over millions of years, with most of those people saying that God guided the process....three-quarters believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, according to a 2013 Pew survey.....a 2014 National Science Foundation study found that only three out of four Americans know that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa, and a large percentage didn't know the Earth's core was hot....
There is a silver lining - The percentage of Americans who believe in natural selection has increased significantly. Per the article:
Though the percentage of people who believe in creationism has changed little over the decades, the percentage of people who believe humans evolved without God has more than doubled, and the percentage who believe in God-guided evolution has decreased. (Bold added.)
I dunno, sounds like a fairly accurate estimate, from what I see around me. In more urban areas, the numbers are better, but there's a lot of scientific ignorance, even here. Several of my coworkers, in a freaking I.T. department, have indirectly identified themselves as young-earth creationists. The department as a whole is majority atheist, but there are plenty of fundamentalist religious nuts.
I'm sure that the rest of the hospital has much worse numbers than my department, on average. And this is in the largest urban cluster in the state. I can just imagine what it's like, out in the more rural parts of the state. Western NC has a big snake-handling-Pentecostal problem.
Well of course they don't really know what is in there, if they knew what their religion was really about they would not buy into it, it is full of horror and atrocities after all. The problem is that the same people who want to keep them ignorant of the bible (or whatever other holy book they use), are the same people keeping the same people from learning science or other facts. It us just a tool used to control the masses and keep them ignorant, and they are guilty by complacence.
You point about cellphones isn't correct, as they would just ignore it, like they do anything else they did not like or find inconvenient. This is most obvious when you look at the Neo-con and Libertarian wing of the group, as Christianity is very anti-'wealth accumulation'. Being Christian DOES mean that you are supposed to give up your wealth, but you see how often that happens...
The Libertarians are more likely to follow the teachings of the atheist Ayn Rand, than their fictional figurehead Jesus.
P.S. If they are not 'snake handlers', then they are not very good Christians, another example of picking and choosing what to follow.
My maternal grandmother was born in the 19th century and read her Bible daily all her adult life. I kept expecting her to finish it, put it down, take off her reading glasses, and say, "You know something? Thank book is a crock of crap." But she never did.
True enough, some never do, especially the further back in time you go, to when magical thinking was more accepted. But many only ever read the parts that make them feel good, and ignore those they don't like, like the preachers who pick and choose what to teach. No matter how much many of them claim to read the thing (many are lying, one guy I talked to claimed to have read it so many times that to reach that number it worked out to several hundred times a year), I am consistently amazed by how little most of them know about what it says.
Unfortunately for some, it has been ingrained so deeply that nothing can pry it loose, ghost stories, fortune tellers, and so on, people love the supernatural, and thinking that they are the one who has been chosen by these super powers is a powerful drug, feeling 'special', especially when the rest of your life sucks. You want to believe that everything will work out, there will be a happy ending, and that there was a point to all of the suffering you had to go through, because if not, then you have wasted your life, and been really horrible to people for no reason. To me, the idea is just creepy.
And one of the things about it is that many people can't read at the level to comprehend the way it was written (not saying that was your grandmother's reason), the King James version is written at a 12.8th grade level, and most Americans these days read at about 8-9th, though there are many other, easier to read versions out there, some dumbed down to a 3rd grade level (not counting the kids versions). Honestly, I think the 'children's version' of the bible is about the limit on what many of even the most devout know.
I didn't even have to know how to read before I could tell it was fiction ('magic isn't real' I told my maternal grandmother at age 3, lol), and the more I read once I did learn, just horrified me that people DID believe it. Not just because it is so unbelievable, and what that said about our critical thinking skills as a species, but because of all of the evil that is in that book. But when you grow up being taught that jealousy is love, and having a murderer tell you not to murder, except when I say so, or in all of these dozens of examples, like if your child mouths off, or your daughter is raped in town, or for a woman who is not a virgin when she is married, or working on the sabbath, or... you know, unbreakable commandments, that they were commanded to break literally immediately after they got them for things they did before they did get them...
whooops, but I could go one about this until the day I die, and probably will... sorry about rambling...
Brilliant and to an extent prophetic. Help stamp out aggressive Christian fundamentalism!
No one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues.
It's pretty much the case in the US now, particularly on Climate Destabilization.
Ruth, are you sure, or are you pessimistic?
Lawmakers and policymakers have for many years found advice and even personnel in academia.
Even when they authorized and funded the then-unknown atomic weapons.
Recalling the views you expressed in several discussions you started recently, I think pessimism is moving you here.
Well, there are a few (always exceptions to prove the rules), but the problem is that we have almost no one representing the "public interest", only those who can afford to donate millions to campaigns, get their interests represented. Until we get dirty money out of politics, or can afford to buy our own politicians, the public interest will not be represented by enough people to do anything. ...Especially with gerrymandering keeping certain people in office no matter what they do (unless they get a challenge from their right, even the dems sometimes, we have been sliding that way for 30+ years).
That isn't pessimism, it's being a realist. You cannot solve a problem if you cannot recognize what the problem is. The only people who can get elected are people who are willing to whore themselves out to special interest groups for large sums of cash. This is true of both parties, the only difference is (sometimes) who is supplying the money. (many times it's the same people funding both, take Sheldon Adelson for example), few with integrity are willing to wade into that cesspool.
Sure, I am cynical, but it is hard not to be when the anti-intellectuals are winning the war, because many do not choose to see that a war is even being fought. You must be able to see the worst in order to prevent it, being a pessimist is only seeing the worst, and not trying to prevent it, because that is the only thing that can exist. I submit, that by seeing the worst, and still trying to work to improve it, that is being the ultimate optimist. XD
Not seeing the dark reality, is not being optimistic, that is being willfully ignorant.
...only those who can afford to donate millions to campaigns, get their interests represented.
Devian, how do cynicism and pessimism differ?
Not as defined in a dictionary of philosophy, but in an ordinary dictionary?
I ask because during a lunchtime discussion several years ago I realized that I wasn't able to describe their difference.
They differ significantly.
So do idealism and optimism.
Several years in hardball politics persuaded me that people who feel powerless, who lack confidence in their ability to produce the change they desire, turn to idealism or pessimism.
The statements "I can't fight city hall" and "I do not now want to fight city hall" differ.
I would edit your above conclusion to:
Those who can afford to donate millions to campaigns, and those who can attract enough allies, get their interests represented.
Whether with money or allies, getting change requires convincing incumbents that they might not be re-elected.
Tea party folk are doing that to Republican incumbents.
pessimism vs cynicism, a very good question, that might be worthy of a long debate. There is some overlap, they are similar, but not directly connected. I would say the amount of realism, and perhaps apathy. If you see things as they are, and they are bad, you are a cynic, if you see things as worse than they are, then you are a pessimist. I submit that if a cynic still tries to improve things than they are in fact, an optimist. If you look forward to, and strive for, a brighter future, in the face of a "craptastic world", then that is pretty optimistic to me.
In your example, "can't fight" is cynical, "don't want to" is pessimistic. Levels of apathy and realism.
I have to disagree with your rewrite though, it almost doesn't really matter what your views are, if you have enough money, you can get people to your side in almost every example, even if your position is death and destruction, racism, or just about any other evil. Money is a VERY corrupting influence, and a very large % of people will do almost anything for it, like a religion. This is easy to prove, just look at the NRA or the Climate "debates". If you have enough power (and money equals power), you can buy the right people, and get almost anything you want, at least temporarily. There are so many examples of this in our history, it fills volumes. The climate debate is almost identical to the lead debate we had a while back, by the same groups of people, doing the same tactics. Both of which are doing real harm to everyone. The FCC is another example, who was bought by the media companies just recently, when they gave so much to Obama, that he put one of them in charge of the FCC. Tom Wheeler, a lobbyist for the Cable and wireless industry, president of NCTA, and CEO of the CTIA, now the chairman of the FCC. Unless we can get money out of politics, is is little that can be done. Sure, there will be small victories, here and there, but over all, the big money special interests will will enough, that they can changes the laws they want, and eventually we will be left with nothing. We are well on our way to Idiocrasy. The Cable companies own the FCC, now the food companies just need to buy the FDA and we are almost done.
You are right that there are exceptions and there always will be (there are exceptions to prove every rule, just look at Obama vs Romney, big money vs bigger money, either way, big money still won, you need more proof, look up another guy in that same election, Buddy Roemer, they wouldn't even let him in the debates because he wouldn't take donations larger than $100 a person, so they blackballed him, the system is designed so that money talks and everyone and everything else walks), but then it is also true that no matter what you say, you can always find an average of 1/5 to 1/4 of people who believe it... (give or take), like the 20% who either don't know, or are wrong about the earth going around the sun (and some of them might have guessed, it is a 50/50 shot). While Eric Cantor's race is an exception, as his opponent was not well financed, many of those tea party guys are quite well backed, and many by the same people backing the republicans. Then you have people like Adelson who gives money to both parties too (though it is pretty disproportionate), but he doesn't care who you are, if you back his causes. Newt Gingrich, Harry Reed, Mitt Romney, Alan West, whatever... it doesn't matter to him, just back one of his causes, Israel or gambling.
If the flat earthers had more money, they could boast more numbers too, all they would need is a spot on FAUX to explain how 'it says so in the bible' ("because heaven is 'up' and there is no 'up' on a sphere", ...no, I did not make that up)... They would be trying to get it taught in schools as a viable alternative, and so on (thankfully, unlike the Christians at large, they don't have that kind of money, but if the Ken Hamms of this world have their way, it would not take much to get there)... The fact that they exist at all is a testament to the fact that some people will believe 'anything', well, that and the other obvious fact that atheists were almost as small of a group as the flat earthers (within the margin of error, but at least we are growing, and they are shrinking ...for now, though we have said this before, and ignorance is resurging).
Devian, I'm persuaded that you keep up with politics.
I agree that money in politics does a lot of harm, which is why I support attempts to reverse SCOTUS's Citizens United ruling and, further, want corporate personhood ended.
Your remark about can't fight and don't want to fight did not persuade me that you referred to a dictionary to define cynicism or pessimism.
I see "can't fight" as pessimistic, as the speaker is saying he is unable to fight.
I see "don't want to fight" as realistic, as the speaker is saying he is able to fight but may do it at another time.