Religious happiness trumps irreligious scepticism

A growing body of research suggests that the religious live longer and are happier than sceptics. Noted British economist Richard Layard, a pioneer in the field, writes,

One of the most robust findings of happiness research [is that] people who believe in God are happier. At the individual level one cannot be sure whether belief causes happiness or happiness causes belief. But since the relation also exists at the national level, we can be sure that to some extent belief causes happiness.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 266

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Right and wrong have nothing to do with surveys

According to NARAL Pro Choice America [a pro-abort lobby group]:

Seven in 10 Americans support the right to legal abortion.

But appeals to survey results are a shifty line of argument, even in a democracy:

[Victor] Reppert asks whether it is reasonable to pass laws against abortion in a society in which large segments of the population do not oppose abortion.

Well, was it reasonable to pass laws against slavery in a society in which large segments of the population did not oppose slavery?

Quote sources

  1. NARAL Pro-Choice America (n.d.) Abortion Access. Available https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/issue/abortion-access/. Last accessed 15th Oct 2018
  2. Vallicella, B. (2018) Can One Reasonably Hold that Abortion is Murder but Ought to be Legal? Maverick Philosopher. Available http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2018/10/can-one-reasonably-hold-that-abortion-is-murder-but-ought-to-be-legal.html. Last accessed 15 Oct 2018.

Pushing secularism into a corner

Europeans also tend to hold a positive view of religion and are willing to fund it. The British, for example, are broadly willing to see their tax money go towards restoring churches and paying for faith schools. In Scandinavia and Germany, the overwhelming majority of Lutherans pay a tax to support the church despite never attending. They do so in the belief that religion is an important resource for morality, identity, birth, marriage and death. People do not participate in religious services but imbibe their religion ‘vicariously’ through the acts of committed believers and the pronouncements of religious public figures.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 8

Outnumbering the pro-aborts: nothing short of revolutionary

That’s worth a second look. In the period 1996–2006, the 46 percent of American women aged forty to sixty who endorsed abortion if a woman did not want a larger family averaged just 1.69 children.

Their traditionalist sisters who opposed granting abortion on these grounds bore 2.35 children during the same period.

It doesn’t sound like much, but if these distinctions are maintained over several generations, the impact will be nothing short of revolutionary.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 101

The world is getting more religious

Sceptics and proponents alike fail to probe the soft underbelly of secularism: demography. [Demographers Pippa] Norris and [Ron] Inglehart are aware of its power. They observe that less developed countries tend to be more religious than rich ones and have faster growing populations.

Population explosion in the developing world creates many more religious people than secularism can digest. The secular West and East Asia are aging and their share of world population declining. This means the world is getting more religious even as people in the rich world shed their faith.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century [ebook]. Profile Books, London, location 150

Feminist academic journals: naive and gullible

This is the story of a hoax article that was submitted to a feminist academic journal. The article had passed the peer review process as well; it was written by a certain Helen Wilson. The feminists couldn’t realise what was going on, and it took a writer from the Wall Street Journal to outlay the truth:

The existence of a monthly journal focused on “feminist geography” is a sign of something gone awry in academia. The journal in question—Gender, Place & Culture—published a paper online in May whose author claimed to have spent a year observing canine sexual misconduct in Portland, Ore., parks.

The author admits that “my own anthropocentric frame” makes it difficult to judge animal consent. Still, the paper claims dog parks are “petri dishes for canine ‘rape culture’ ” and issues “a call for awareness into the different ways dogs are treated on the basis of their gender and queering behaviors, and the chronic and perennial rape emergency [that] dog parks pose to female dogs.”…

My email to “Helen Wilson” was answered by James Lindsay, a math doctorate and one of the real co-authors of the dog-park study. Gender, Place & Culture had been duped, he admitted.

I also found the original academic article in question, and read through it online; I couldn’t believe that the feminists accepted paragraphs like this:

Human companions took active roles in intervening in incidents between dogs, providing an avenue for insight into the gendered status of the a-/moral paradox in human interpretations of domesticated canine behavior. Humans made some attempt to intervene in dog fights 99% of the time, by raising voice(s) (91%), attempting to physically intervene (19%), and other behaviors (29%) including shocking dogs who wore electric dog collars, swinging leashes, pulling out food, blowing horns, and in rare cases singing at the dogs or (once) doing jumping jacks next to the dogs, presumably as a distraction.

Singing and doing jumping jacks? Hilarious! When will feminists learn?

Quote source

Melchior, J.K. (2018). Fake News Comes to Academia: How three scholars gulled academic journals to publish hoax papers on ‘grievance studies.’ Wall Street Journal. Available https://www.wsj.com/articles/fake-news-comes-to-academia-1538520950. Last acccessed 11th Oct 2018.

Atheist trapped by his own logic

These excepts are from a discussion between Bob Enyart and Rusty Carter, when they and a group of homeschoolers visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science:

And down closer to the floor, they have artwork aimed at children..and they had a cartoon of a fish looking at a man smiling with a big set of teeth…

It [the caption] says ‘Your teeth came from scales’…

Yeah, your scales evolved into teeth…with a cartoon to children, saying to kids that this is a fact, that we know, as scientists, that scales—fish scales—evolved into teeth…

There would be enormous debate among evolutionists—there’s no way evolutionists would all agree that scales evolved into teeth; I mean, it’a wild stretch, it’s a wild theory…

And I asked Dr. Kirk Johnson [the atheistic chief curator of the museum], ‘How can you say that, as though it were a fact? How can you possibly present that?’

And his answer was, ‘Well, there’s a lot in our culture that we believe, that we don’t know to be facts’—and so it was a very unscientific answer…

And so he [Kirk Johnson] was objecting that we [Christians] believed in certainty. He didn’t like that, as a scientist. So I asked him if he believed in truth, and he was equivocating. He wouldn’t answer directly that he believed in truth.

So, I said, ‘Well, Kirk, do you believe that you exist?’ I thought that we could find some common ground and there at least, if he knew he existed, then he’d believe that was true…

He said, ‘Well, I don’t know – I think so, but I don’t know.’

And I said, ‘Kirk, if you don’t know that you exist…well, first of all,’ I said, ‘you’re being intellectually immature.’ Because no-one that doesn’t exist can assert that they don’t exist, that they doubt that they exist – I think, therefore I am…

And I pressed him, ‘Do you exist? You’re just playing a game with us?’ And he could not answer that he knew he existed.

And we pointed out, this is what atheism and evolution does – it leads people to gross ignorance. Because when you don’t have a foundation on God, you have no foundation for science or knowledge or reason.

Quote source

Enyart, B. (2006). RSR: Denver Museum Curator Says He Might Not Exist [podcast]. Available https://kgov.com/denver-museum-curator-kirk-johnston-might-not-exist. Last accessed 1st Oct 2018.