E04teacherlin wrote:This has become humorous. Mr Fortigurn, keep those sources coming. There are people who do read them.
Thank you. It's refreshing to discuss the topic with someone who is intellectually honest.
I for one wonder why it would be so and since I do some research myself, wonder sometimes if there are other variables involved when research is done that can not be controlled or the researcher might not be aware of.
You'll note from the studies I've cited that a very broad range of variables is controlled for. However, the simple fact (as I've pointed out previously), is that religious groups are more 'fit for purpose' when it comes to providing social benefits, because they are specifically aimed at this purpose; your local chess club or photography club isn't designed or intended to encourage risk avoidance behaviour, building of broad social capital, reinforcing family ties, providing safe environments for children, etc.
As I said previously:
The fact is that religious groups tend to promote closer, deeper, longer, and more robust social ties than other social organizations. This is hardly surprising given the typical concerns and aims of religious groups and those who join them. People don't join chess clubs for spiritual and emotional fulfillment. Religion is a better social adhesive than other social bonding motives.
Specific points for consideration.
1. Whereas religious groups typically provide for individuals over an extremely long duration (often from birth to death), starting from a very early age (birth or early childhood), secular social groups typically do not; no one joins the local Toast Masters or Rotary club at five years old and leaves only when they die.
2. Religious groups typically involve their members in interaction far more regularly and at far deeper levels of social interaction than their secular counterparts; you're a lot more socially connected and close to people you've grown up with in church and known for 20 years than to the people you've been to yoga class with for the last six months. People who go to church don't just meet once a week (as opposed to the yoga class people), they're regularly and personally involved in each others' lives, often on a daily basis.
3. Religious groups promote a range of risk avoidance behaviours, to an extent which their secular counterparts do not.
4. Religious groups address people's deepest concerns and most personal hopes and fears, which doesn't happen when you join your local hiking club. Sharing these personal hopes and fears, and reinforcing the religious solutions offered, is of significant psychological benefit.
5. Religious groups often (typically, in the case of the Judeo-Christian tradition), encourage a high level of care and concern for out-group members, even while providing greater benefits for in-group members. This encourages (but does not guarantee), out-group members to view them with greater trust and respect, improving the social capital of in-group members.
For one, I wonder if the self preservation behavior is a result of religion and the community that comes with it, or a fear of death and not satisfying a deity.
Religious people generally have less anxiety about death specifically because of the comfort and confidence religion brings in the face of mortality; anthropologists and psychologists have cited this as one of the functions of religion, and one of the reasons for its development. The risk avoidance behaviour in religions is typically related to purity concerns; taboos against high risk sexual behaviour, and substance use and abuse (drugs, tobacco, alcohol), for example, are often focused on maintaining bodily purity as an act of respect for the creator, as a reflection of spiritual purity, and as an act of personal sacrifice.
Turning the question around, you may ask why risk avoidance behaviour isn't typically promoted by secular social groups. One key reason is that most secular social groups simply aren't interested in promoting risk avoidance, the purpose of their group is something completely different. And who would join a secular group which is going to tell you how to live your life?
Another is that certain specific forms of risk are promoted at a grassroots level within secular society, even if they are illegal and even if at a higher level of society they are warned against. Sexual promiscuity and substance use/abuse are prominent examples, high risk behaviours which school aged children find are engaged in by their peers, and which are reinforced as necessary for acceptance into peer groups, regardless of what they're taught by teachers or parents (parents who are often excellent examples of these very behaviours themselves).
It takes considerable emotional strength and independence of mind to resist this peer pressure, and religious groups can provide not only the encouragement to avoid such behaviour but also an alternative peer group providing support for those who are resisting that pressure. And this isn't just about promoting safe sex through prophylactic measures; quite apart from the fact that a number of common STDs can be transmitted regardless of prophylactic use, there's also the fact that risk of STDs increases with the number of sexual encounters and sexual partners, regardless of the use of prophylactic measures.
What I do find humorous is that this thread has become exactly what fortigurn has said. People make claims and become all excited to the point of fanatic about what they believe, and then refuse to properly engage in conversation when provided with alternative points of view. When cooking, please only provide us a fifth of the recipe as we are too lazy to read and the cake will be a f-up whether we read the whole recipe or not, seems like a bad idea in my opinion.
Precisely; Teddoman keeps making claims without providing any substantiating evidence whatsoever, and ignores completely any evidence contra-indicatory to his claims. This is fundamentalist behaviour.