Monday, September 03, 2007

Influence...

I made a post, on a hobby board, in response to a theist who threw down Pascal's Wager.
Apparently, a teenager read my post and liked it enough to re-post it.
http://www.freewebs.com/goodbyesir/pascal.html

I know it's not much... but, it really made my day. :)
On the same topic; I often wonder if theists realize how much of their life their missing by sitting in a church? In the above linked post, I talked about the time devoted to Catholicism. But, what about other religions?

Let's do the math.
Here's my official "time wasted" count.
Birth to fourteen - 1 hr. a week (mass) x 52 weeks x 14 years = 728 hours in mass
CCD/ERE = 2 hours a week x 40 weeks a year x 9 years = 720 hours
Assorted holy days and special services/masses = 50 hours (rough estimate)
CCD/ERE Homework = 1 hr a week x 40 weeks a year x 9 years = 360 hours
Confession = 15 minutes a week x 18 years = 234 hours
Nighttime prayers = 20 minutes x 12 years (age 6-18, I got OCD about prayers) = 208 hours
So...let's see... total number of hours wasted in religion?
2300 hours!! (And, no...I didn't realize it would end up being a round number).
Roughly 96 days that I will never get back.
Can you imagine how wonderful life would be if we focused on the needs of humanity for 96 days?

*Math errors might have come from the medication I'm on at the moment.

25 comments:

PiGuy said...

Well, I skipped most of the homework and praying but, even still, what a waste of time. Months and months.

Hope you're doing a bit better and I'll keep you in my thoughts.

BTW: once again, your children are beautiful. What a cool tradition!

Carlie said...

Good grief. I don't even want to calculate the number of hours I lost to religion. Some of them were multipurpose, and were good times with friends, but still. Ugh.

AlisonM said...

It's a lot of time when you get old enough to become more active, too. I wouldn't call it entirely wasted, though, because if I could find a choir to sing in and a handbell group to ring for without having to deal with the religion or join a dozen committees, I'd do that again without hesitation. Unfortunately, you don't find too much non-professional music outside of the ol' church venues. Ah, well.

aimee said...

With my husband's experience in the Christian church, he would go to church as often as 3 times a week. Then you would have your revivals and don't forget the church camps and youth groups. I'm sure there are a ton of other church related things he had to go to.

Donkey M said...

Is that 20 mins of prayer every night for 12 years? If so, I add that up to nearly 61 days by itself!

ShadesOfGrey said...

I'll have to show dh this one...waste of his time is one of the many reasons he would never go to church (being an atheist is, naturally, the top reason).

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Some of my best memories were of Catholic youth group, lets see:

Getting drunk, getting chucked out of camping grounds and told the group could never come back, stealing street signs, getting to sit next to girls I was sweet on, getting to hug girls (purely platonic... yeah right), rolling the suv with the drunk gay catholic priest asleep in the back, into the river bed(dry river).

Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Sarah said...

The world would be a much better place if people stopped begging a deity to make things better and just fixed things themselves.

On a *slightly* related note, did you see news about the Nepalese Airliner that had electrical problems and couldn't take off a few times so they felt the best way to fix the problem was to bring two goats onto the runway and sacrifice them for Akash Bhairab?

Also, even more off-topic, to go back to your love of the Duggars, I belong to a homesteading forum and you have the expected mix of a minority of liberal hippies and extreme conservative Christians, some of which are actually Quiverfullers (it was neat to see as I kind of saw them as mythical creatures for awhile...). Anyway, there was a thread on the Duggars and you can imagine how that went. :/

B. said...

So glad to have you back, PM! I finally got to listen to the podcasts and loved being able to put a voice to you. Interesting stuff on the Duggars; reminds me too much of people I know.

My time wasted count... I've only gotten to age 8 and I already have you beat.
1 hour on Sunday for Sunday School
2 hours for Sunday a.m. service
2 hours for Sunday p.m. service
2 hours for Wednesday p.m. service
14 hours a day x 7 days a week x 3 weeks a year for "camp meeting"

not counting 'special' services such as prayer meetings, foot washings, Lord Suppers, missionary presentations, church cleaning or 'revival' meetings that lasted for a week, service every night. And 2 hours is a conservative estimate for service time...

Anyway, just the basics for 8 years and I came up with 216 days. At age 8 we changed churches but it didn't stop there and it's too depressing to keep going!

HiveRadical said...

If you look at my faith I'm likely to have a net gain of life from practicing my faith. I calculated an average of seven hours a week over 80 years plus the two solid years on my mission came out to a bit over five years. Seeing as the average Mormon male in the US that's devout lives an extra 8-11 years longer than his non-Mormon counterpart I stand to potentially gain anywhere from three to six years to my life AFTER having deducted the time I've given to my faith.

I wonder if any of you have done fiscal calculations for the coffee you've consumed. I feel rather certain that there are many people who've invested more money in substance addictions than I will ever spend being a full tithe payer.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Hive,
I drink neither coffee nor caffeine and I'm not LDS. I also refrain from alcohol and drug consumption. My body is MY temple... you don't have to be LDS to treat your body well.

And, please share the link to your statistic that LDS males live 8-11 years longer.

HiveRadical said...

possummomma,

You see the influence of the church of Starbucks everywhere you go don't you? You may not use such things at present, but I feel rather certain that if we did a like study of those claiming to be secularists, or atheists, that we'd find at least an average relative rate of substance consumption of the likes of coffee, alcohol etc. The one possible exception may be smoking.

I'm just pointing out that if we want to get into refuting Pascal's Wager the way you seek to then we should apply the 'waste of time' measurement across the board.

And if enjoyment is an argument for those involved in the above mentioned substance use then can't I argue then that my time given to my faith is not wasted if I enjoy it as much as a friend of yours might enjoy his or her coffee or occasional drink?

Also, the 'yum' below--

"Oh...and for those who imbibe, the EHL also has nice little drink recipes in their podcasts. Yum."

...rather implies that you don't always abstain from alcohol consumption. Just came to mind when you mentioned that you "refrain"

Here's an AP article citing the research I referenced.

LDS Lifestyle May Be Secret to Long Life
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES: Want to live longer? The secret, some researchers say, may be to live like a Mormon.

Devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't smoke, take drugs or consume caffeine. They also practice premarital chastity and marital monogamy.

These may be among the reasons that they are some of the healthiest and longest-living people in the country, according to University of California, Los Angeles, study to be published this summer and reported in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.

Conducted by UCLA epidemiologist James E. Enstrom, the research tracked the mortality rates and health practices of nearly 10,000 California Mormons whose church rank is called high priest. Wives were also tracked in the 14-year study.

The study found that LDS Church members who follow religious mandates barring smoking and drinking have one of the lowest death rates from cancer and cardiovascular diseases - about half that of the general population.

Moreover, the healthiest LDS Church members enjoy a life expectancy eight to 11 years longer than that of the general white population in the United States. . . .

Although other religious groups with similar practices also rank as some of the healthiest Americans, "Mormons form a really good model because there's a large number who are really adhering to this doctrine," Enstrom said.

According to the study, LDS high priests have only 16 percent of the expected deaths from smoking-related cancers and 6 percent of the expected deaths from emphysema, asthma, ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide and suicide.

Also, high priests who exercise regularly and get proper sleep have an overall death rate that is only 38 percent of all white males in the United States.

The death rate refers to the number of people expected to die in the general population during a given year. The study's author said the rates for LDS deaths are significantly lower than those for the general population.

The study also noted that LDS Church members with a strong family life enjoy good health.

"Mormons have a sense of a larger community, of belonging to a larger church unit that is like an expanded family," said Michael J. Fairclough, a high priest. "Now there's more scientific evidence that people who live in stable families tend to be happier and have less stress. I think all those things contribute to emotional and mental health, which in turn probably helps physically."

B. said...

hiveradical, I'd be interested to know if you refrain from eating too much fat and sugar as well. I can't count the number of 'people of faith' I've seen harping on alcohol while tearing their way through a dozen doughnuts. A healthy lifestyle for body and mind is the secret to long life, not faith.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Hive...
1. The study found that LDS Church members who follow religious mandates barring smoking...
Well, gee...twenty bucks says that if I went up to all Catholics who didn't smoke or drink, or even all members of the general population who don't smoke or drink, I'd get similar numbers. The study is flawed from the beginning because it wasn't blind. The members who didn't smoke or drink were, presumably, chucked out of the study.
2. What exactly would this study prove other than "people who don't smoke and/or drink live longer"? It doesn't strictly apply to ONLY members of the LDS Church. Not smoking and not drinking can occur in any faith (or, no faith).
3. Your church also has some interesting statistics for mental health needs and use of depression and anxiety meds. LDS Children (and Utah, in general) leads the nation in influenza and ear infections in infants. And, LDS women have the highest rates of PPD in the United States. So, great... as a group, you might be physically healthy, but your group is also more prone to teen suicide and mental illness... way to go. *thumbs up* And, btw, THAT study wasn't undertaken to corrolate religion to depression and PPD...it just came out in the results. Healthy AND HAPPY are the goals.

HiveRadical said...

b.

Certainly there are those among us who do consume a good amount of food that's not always the best for you, but even the vast majority of them do not have the ill effects that come of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine etc. And if you get to studying health you'll find that if you live long enough natural chemical conditions in the body will reach a point where they are either so suppressive of mutants that they hinder the body's natural defenses against thing like diabetes OR the chemical conditions are such that cells are not sufficiently restrained and cancer develops. If you avoid death from all other angles it's almost certain that you will either end up with cancer or diabetes (or some other disease that depends on a significant slowing of the body's reparative capacity rather than necessarily an pro-active disease or infection.

I'd take being overweight and diabetic over being some one who can't remember what happened at the party last night and whether or not the dent on the bumper of my vehicle originated from hitting an inanimate object or something of significantly greater value.

HiveRadical said...

Hive...
1. The study found that LDS Church members who follow religious mandates barring smoking...
Well, gee...twenty bucks says that if I went up to all Catholics who didn't smoke or drink, or even all members of the general population who don't smoke or drink, I'd get similar numbers.


Dunno 'bout you. I know a few Catholics, and former Catholics. I'm hard pressed to find a one of them who didn't, at least at some point, drink coffee or alcohol.

I think it would be neat to see you find another significant group that has a significant portion of it's adherents that abide both an equivalent health code and and equivalent relationship paradigm and see if they come out living as much longer as us Mormons.


The study is flawed from the beginning because it wasn't blind. The members who didn't smoke or drink were, presumably, chucked out of the study.

That doesn't make a lot of sense. The study wanted to find out what the average was for strict adherents. It wasn't as if the less than strict weren't included, it was just that they weren't considered to be a part of that portion. because the qualifier, the thing that was suppose to set that specific group apart is something your claiming that they needed to ignore to make it 'blind'. This was a study, not some strict lab experiment or something in which you could give people placebos. They took a large swath of people, measured their health, then they went through the differences in how they lived their lives and tried to derive patterns. This screaming for blindness, as if these were all rodents in a lab, is silly. It misses the whole nature of much of what the behavioral sciences in this are limited to.


2. What exactly would this study prove other than "people who don't smoke and/or drink live longer"?

Those who don't have premarital sex and are faithful after marriage tend to be healthier?

Those who have more children and focus their lives earlier on are more likely to feel fulfilled as they age?


It doesn't strictly apply to ONLY members of the LDS Church. Not smoking and not drinking can occur in any faith (or, no faith).

It goes a bit beyond that. Do you think the world would be healthier if we were all weened from coffee and tea? Or do you think those ever successful starbucks shops on every other corner are a boon to humanity?

3. Your church also has some interesting statistics for mental health needs and use of depression and anxiety meds. LDS Children (and Utah, in general) leads the nation in influenza and ear infections in infants.

Yep. Yer a wee bit more likely to contract the flu or an ear infection if you're constantly in contact with a bunch of siblings near your age. And when the flu hits one your proximity tends to insure that it will run it's course through most, if not all, the family.

I personally will affirm my belief that this portion of the study is, in my experience, dead on. But I've not known a single child through all my years growing up that died from an ear infection or influenza, nor do I know any crippled or suffering permanent hearing loss.

But I'd nigh dare say that we are more likely to fend off an influenza epidemic than most places. We've enough food in our house to keep us from needing to go to the store for several months

(an interesting trend in my family. The only kids to get ear infections out of all of us (there's nine of us) were those of us with whom my mother was started for labor.)


And, LDS women have the highest rates of PPD in the United States.

When you, on average, have one more child per woman per lifetime than the rest of the US it would make some degree of sense that the chances for PPD would be a tad higher? There's another aspect to this I'll point out in connection with the next part, but has a potential tie to the above.


So, great... as a group, you might be physically healthy, but your group is also more prone to teen suicide and mental illness... way to go. *thumbs up*

I'd point out that the suicide rates, seem to have far more to do with something correlating to the western US than anything to do with the LDS faith. For example western states lead in the top ten in suicide rates, and the LEAST LDS of these states have the highest, per 100,000 citizens--

The first number is the total average annual number of suicides, followed by the crude rate then the age adjusted rate.

Nevada 730 23.3 23.6
Montana 375 21.5 21.5
Alaska 223 18.5 18.6
New Mexico 615 18.1 19.0
Wyoming 170 17.7 18.0
Colorado 1348 17.8 18.1
Arizona 1531 17.5 17.9
Idaho 363 15.4 16.1
Oregon 1017 16.0 15.8
Utah 575 14.4 15.4

Notice again that the states with the least LDS influence (percentage of populace as LDS members) have the highest suicide rates and that they correlate AWAY from those western states with the higher LDS population saturations. (the numbers are from 99, but I'd be suprized if you can produce significantly, proportionately, different numbers from a more recent study.)

Now on to the heightened rate of mental illness claim. I'm not sure what study you're pulling from (feel free to cite it) but the one I'm aware of simply points out numbers on prescriptions given. Prescriptions given is, I hope you'd agree, significantly different from actual illness rates.

Some possible alternate scenarios that would explain a higher medication rate without inherently indicating a higher rate of disorder/illness occurrence--

1) a populace and corresponding medical community more aware of a disorder or problem may be more able to diagnose and treat it when it occurs.

2)a populace in which imbibing is not nearly as common as in the rest of the nation may be far far less likely to unwittingly self medicate itself for medical conditions. A populace not consistently doped up on a socially acceptable stimulant may be more sensitive to notice chemical, mental and emotional abnormalities than a populace that was constantly crudely treating such issues may be.

3)A community may just in general be more open to the idea of the reality of mental illness than other communities and cultures and, therefore, more ready and willing to confront it proactively.


And to put another nail in the coffin of the desire to make Utah look like a bunch of mental cases to try and justify generally poor health choices throughout much of the world I give you the fact that the rates of ADHD and the prescribing of Ritalin in Utah is on par with the rest of the nation and it's children have the lowest obesity rates in the nation. (that last stat really doesn't tie into the mental thing directly, I just wanted to get that in there too, for the likes of 'b') But if Utah's populace has something screwing with their minds to the point of making us all more mental than the rest of the nation then wouldn't such be reflected in, of all things, Ritalin prescriptions? Especially with the pervasiveness of this AND the increased number of kids, you may thing that more kids, with more siblings, may end up causing more stress and more ADHD in similar manners as we see with standard physiological based things like ear infections and influenza. But nope. Utah kids have average prescription rates on that 'high on the list' of prevalent disorders/abnormalities.


And, btw, THAT study wasn't undertaken to corrolate religion to depression and PPD...it just came out in the results. Healthy AND HAPPY are the goals.

We're happy. I've not met a happier people. Oh. And if it was a different study, if it wasn't just giving prescription numbers or if it didn't factor in the likely effects of a woman having had more children, and thus potentially have increased her vulnerability to PPD, then I'd like to see the citations for such. But I'm guessing that they likely didn't necessarily take all these factors into account OR the conclusions you imply from the study didn't take all these possible alternate correlations and corresponding potential causations.

Matthew said...

Oh not you again.

That doesn't make a lot of sense. The study wanted to find out what the average was for strict adherents. Golly, and what don't "strict adherents" do. So again, the study tells us that lead healthier lives... live longer! Next up, the sky is blue!

When you, on average, have one more child per woman per lifetime than the rest of the US it would make some degree of sense that the chances for PPD would be a tad higher? There's another aspect to this I'll point out in connection with the next part, but has a potential tie to the above. Sure sure, the point is that it kinda hurts the divine will theory a tad bit. Regardless, it certainly shows that having children by the truck load isn't making your women happier. Probably the men though.

I'd point out that the suicide rates, seem to have far more to do with something correlating to the western US than anything to do with the LDS faith. And in ALL of those cases it has more to do with religion than not. Escpecially Christianity, and far more for the LDS than other sects.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I'm hard pressed to find a one of them who didn't, at least at some point, drink coffee or alcohol.

Are you always this isolated, socially, and prone to not paying attention? *I*, sir, am an ex-Catholic. In my thirty-two years of life, I have never smoked, consumed caffeine, drank coffee, or had sex with anyone other than my husband. I was not in any sense of the word "promiscuous". I have four children to whom I am completely in love with and we've made a family that functions better than our Mormon neighbors. As for your holier-than-thou schtick... I know many a mormon that can't get enough Dr. Pepper in their system. And, the six or seven families I know (that are LDS) are closet coffee drinkers.

Do you think that Mormons have some sort of corner on the happy marriage market?

My point regarding the rate of illness in LDS kids is that going to church for such long hours and having the "go even if you're dying" mentality spreads communicable diseases. I have the same gripe with all churches. I have four kids and our rate of absenses far underscores the LDS families I know (who always seem to have a sickly kid around). And, in fact, that's one of the reasons I've had to stop going to the grocery store. I have a compromised immune system and live in a Mormon-rich area of town. On any given afternoon, you can walk into our store...see the kid with green snot and a croupy cough, note his siblings running willy-nilly through the store with their own crappy noses...touching EVERYTHING because mommy's in her paxil induced haze, and then note her garment lines. I know LDS women who throw chicken pox and flu parties,..."just to get it over with". Yeah...because getting the immunizations would be too taxing?

Bwian said...

"Moreover, the healthiest LDS Church members enjoy a life expectancy eight to 11 years longer than that of the general white population in the United States. . . ."

I think this was my favorite line. Because, you know, the smartest atheists enjoy an IQ 40 or more points higher than that of the general white population in the United States. How do I know this? Because I define "the smartest atheists" as those who have an IQ 40 or more points higher than that of the general white population in the United States. Pretty easy, really.

HiveRadical said...

Are you always this isolated, socially, and prone to not paying attention? *I*, sir, am an ex-Catholic. In my thirty-two years of life, I have never smoked, consumed caffeine, drank coffee, or had sex with anyone other than my husband. I was not in any sense of the word "promiscuous". I have four children to whom I am completely in love with and we've made a family that functions better than our Mormon neighbors. As for your holier-than-thou schtick... I know many a mormon that can't get enough Dr. Pepper in their system. And, the six or seven families I know (that are LDS) are closet coffee drinkers.

You are the first catholic AND atheist that I've come across that matches those items. I'd ask you to look at yourself and find me a community that shares all that in common with you AND shares roughly your ideology THEN compare that to the general populace who holds to your ideology.

You see I served my mission in the Bay Area of California. I ran into and had considerable conversations with Catholics, with atheists, with Catholics turned atheists, and a great many others. And I have to say that, while I don't see myself as socially isolated, I have to say that you are what I think would fairly be classified as a rarity with respect to your ideological background contrasted with your lifestyle, family size, etc.. While I too know a number of 'closet coffee drinkers' that espouse my same theology I don't find that any more odd than, in fact a great deal less odd in terms of it's frequency in society, than a person with your mix of ideological moorings and lifestyle choices.

Again correct me if I'm wrong, point me to the great atheist (or even Catholic) communities that share precisely your lifestyle choices. Again with two years of door to door in California, and being among my sizable Catholic circle of peers in Utah, I've not met anyone close to yourself in these aspects. You are truly an anomaly.

Do you think that Mormons have some sort of corner on the happy marriage market?

No. But do you feel Atheists even have an average tendency to formally wed, let alone have a rate of solvency in the institution to match or exceed averages for the general populace?

My point is not that we have a corner, but merely that, in general, we have generally higher rates of fidelity to the institution and, thusly, a higher tie to the benefits and other tangentials tied to such.


My point regarding the rate of illness in LDS kids is that going to church for such long hours and having the "go even if you're dying" mentality spreads communicable diseases. I have the same gripe with all churches. I have four kids and our rate of absenses far underscores the LDS families I know (who always seem to have a sickly kid around). And, in fact, that's one of the reasons I've had to stop going to the grocery store. I have a compromised immune system and live in a Mormon-rich area of town. On any given afternoon, you can walk into our store...see the kid with green snot and a croupy cough, note his siblings running willy-nilly through the store with their own crappy noses...touching EVERYTHING because mommy's in her paxil induced haze, and then note her garment lines. I know LDS women who throw chicken pox and flu parties,..."just to get it over with". Yeah...because getting the immunizations would be too taxing?

First off the immunizations, cost wise, on several levels, are not all they're cracked up to be. That's more an aside.

I find the contrast to your "rate of absences" point to be a little odd. On the one hand you seem proud of the fact that your kids, if your claim is to be believed, have excellent attendance rates (presumably at school) yet you deride any striving for good attendance rates at an institution that keeps kids together for merely three-hours once a week. I don't frankly follow that. If three hours of kids together a week is horrible for spreading communicable diseases then are you necessarily responsible mother for bragging about your kids weekly attendance to a facility that keeps kids together for about seven hours a day five days a week? Where's the logical consistency there? Even if the hard facts of your kids not seeming to get ill as often as others is true it wouldn't make sense that an added three hours in a chapel would cause massively higher rates than 35 hours a week in a public school would. You just need to compare the average lds chapel restroom to the average school house restroom to get the point.

Regarding a compromised immune system, could that ever be the result of an inadequate number of challenges? I'm not saying I can diagnose you over the internet, but I see a general trend of natural vaccinating having an ultimately protective effect, something akin to native American vs European susceptibility to diseases. If they'd been able to forever run from diseases rather than face them and develop stronger immunity tendencies wouldn't the eventual losses have been even greater than what was experienced at times of pandemic? Just as a great many things wreak greater havoc on the more chronologically advanced wouldn't there be a possible advantage in having weathered more infections in the strength of youth than to be bombarded with them when your body was no longer focused on vigor building and was simply in the mode of limiting deterioration?

HiveRadical said...

"Moreover, the healthiest LDS Church members enjoy a life expectancy eight to 11 years longer than that of the general white population in the United States. . . ."

I think this was my favorite line. Because, you know, the smartest atheists enjoy an IQ 40 or more points higher than that of the general white population in the United States. How do I know this? Because I define "the smartest atheists" as those who have an IQ 40 or more points higher than that of the general white population in the United States. Pretty easy, really.


bwian. You're not hitting the nail on the head. Simply because the extended lifespan ranges of the healthiest of the other religious or ideological sects is not pointed out does not mean that the classifications follow the circular reasoning you impute to them. If one, say, placed the standard as being the top 25% of any given group in lifespan or quality of life indicators as being 'the healthiest' RATHER than merely setting some range of years above and beyond a standard life expectancy. Then you could come up with meaningful differentiation between the groups.

What you've done is conveniently decide for yourself (with no support of the reality of the study or the backing of the statement in the article, I would add) some arbitrary tool that they might have used. The one you use would conveniently (for yourself) render the statement circular. But that is taking your assumption and applying it, untenably, to the words of the article. You see the article can be correct AND non-circular in it's supporting evidence. The fact that you can twist the words into a form that would be a possible reading that would make it circular does not actually make the supporting research methods circular. So while the article phraseology could use some improvement, so to could your assumption core and overall logic paradigm.

HiveRadical said...

Oh not you again.

Nice to meet you too, Matthew.

Golly, and what don't "strict adherents" do. So again, the study tells us that lead healthier lives... live longer! Next up, the sky is blue!

Again you're falling into somewhat a similar trap to our friend bwian.

You're forgetting that simply because it's not juxtapose against other groups that share similar practices that they would not inherently have the same advantages, the lifespan extensions may not be equivalent.


Sure sure, the point is that it kinda hurts the divine will theory a tad bit.

It does nothing of the sort. I'd appreciate an elaboration of how you see increased birth rates on a per woman, per lifetime, basis, and the corresponding health issues, hurts the diving will theory.


Regardless, it certainly shows that having children by the truck load isn't making your women happier. Probably the men though.

An instance of emotional trauma doesn't make or break cumulative happiness in life. To say it doesn't make the women happier is something that is just not tenable in the segment you're choosing to look at. It's like taking some entrepreneur and looking at the moment in his life where he or she was struggling and in pain and despair the most and thusly concluding that entrepreneurship is not worth it and that it can't make you happy or happier. It's just absurdity to base the overall claims on the a system that claims an end net happiness on a single segment of an adherent's life.

And in ALL of those cases it has more to do with religion than not. Escpecially Christianity, and far more for the LDS than other sects.

That's hardly substantiable. To demonstrate let's look at Sweden. Arguably one of the most secular, feminist agreable, 'forward thinking' modern/postmodern, societies on the planet. Following my atheist world religions professor (it was a philosophy class) it is the mecca of secular humanism and atheism. Ground zero for modern progress and applied critical thinking. YET suicide rates and general health assessments among it's women, even by the very institutions espousing it's modern and forward lifestyle and ethics, are miserable when compared with the industrialized world. The society that's suppose to be the best we have for women is producing women that are overall less happy, healthy, satisfied with life, and willing to remain in life, than in most of the industrialized nations of the world. You can't really argue that it's Christianity that does that. Sure there's a state religion, but it's not like it's anything of significance. You can't tenably put that on the head of Christianity.

So how do you explain it?

I'd love to see. As I'd love to see your explanation attributing western state suicide rates to Christianity.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

You are the first catholic AND atheist that I've come across that matches those items. I'd ask you to look at yourself and find me a community that shares all that in common with you AND shares roughly your ideology THEN compare that to the general populace who holds to your ideology.
I guess the difference between you and I is that I don't really see why having a fellowship with people who don't drink coffee would be necessary. I don't drink coffee or alcohol for my own reasons - my friends are adults and if they choose to imbibe or go to Starbucks, who am I to tell them not to? It's really none of my business what they consume. I'm secure enough in my choices that I don't need a Church to give me a reason to abstain.

You see I served my mission in the Bay Area of California. I ran into and had considerable conversations with Catholics, with atheists, with Catholics turned atheists, and a great many others.
I don't doubt it.
And I have to say that, while I don't see myself as socially isolated, I have to say that you are what I think would fairly be classified as a rarity with respect to your ideological background contrasted with your lifestyle, family size, etc..

I might be. Then again, it may be a case of you not knowing enough atheists to form an adequate sample size. *thinks* I guess I'd have to say that, as far as the atheists I know go, I'm probably the most "ordinary". And, I've openly stated (with humor) that our family blends right in to the LDS around us. But, I would hate to be where I am now and say that I did it all to appease the mandates of some quarum of old coots. ;)
While I too know a number of 'closet coffee drinkers' that espouse my same theology I don't find that any more odd than, in fact a great deal less odd in terms of it's frequency in society, than a person with your mix of ideological moorings and lifestyle choices.
Ahhhhh, but you see, you set up the LDS faith to be this fountain of youth. Full of people who didn't drink, didn't smoke, etc.,. You corrolated the faith to a longer life span. If you know people who don't follow the WoW, then how can you say that they're likely to live any longer than an atheist? The bottom line is: people are different. You can hang whatever religious identification you want around your neck, but we're all still humans.

Again correct me if I'm wrong, point me to the great atheist (or even Catholic) communities that share precisely your lifestyle choices.
Why? I don't feel that I need it. I don't require a community's worth of acceptance or policing.

Again with two years of door to door in California, and being among my sizable Catholic circle of peers in Utah, I've not met anyone close to yourself in these aspects.
Well, then...we should hang out. :)
You are truly an anomaly.
You say that like it's a bad thing. :)LOL

No. But do you feel Atheists even have an average tendency to formally wed, let alone have a rate of solvency in the institution to match or exceed averages for the general populace?
You have a point here that I'd like to acknowledge and address. I *do* find that atheists tend to be more open to unconventional marriages and relationships. It doesn't bother me, though. My relationship is my relationship. My husband and I don't follow a guidebook or the commandments of a book - we follow our conscience and live by a set of ethics and priorities that we agreed on as a couple. And, we are committed to not violating those priorities. We believe in family. I believe that marriage works best between two dedicated individuals. But, that's just for me and mine.


My point is not that we have a corner, but merely that, in general, we have generally higher rates of fidelity to the institution and, thusly, a higher tie to the benefits and other tangentials tied to such.
So, the institution is more important than your spouse or your family? Am I reading that correctly?

I find the contrast to your "rate of absences" point to be a little odd. On the one hand you seem proud of the fact that your kids, if your claim is to be believed, have excellent attendance rates (presumably at school) yet you deride any striving for good attendance rates at an institution that keeps kids together for merely three-hours once a week.
My point was that people in the LDS faith feel BAD if they stay home with their sick kids. I've seen my neighbors drag their daughter to the stake house with a 104 degree temperature. I've seen them go to church with snot running down their faces. What is so important that parents would put the health, comfort, and safety of their children aside?
I, on the other hand, use the time you spend in church taking my kids out to the farmer's market or the backyard for a family frolic. We play board games; build forts; look at bugs; etc.,. As a result, they have two days to rest and retain their health. They don't have to go to a church for three hours where it's crowded and people are trying to share their germs with one another. I encourage my children to pay attention to their physical cues. If they're sick, we gear down. Can you say that about LDS families? Is there enough wiggle room for a family to take a week off to recoup?

Regarding a compromised immune system, could that ever be the result of an inadequate number of challenges? I'm not saying I can diagnose you over the internet, but I see a general trend of natural vaccinating having an ultimately protective effect, something akin to native American vs European susceptibility to diseases.
My kids have great immune systems. Mine is the one that sucks. I have SLE (lupus). I've outlived the average lupus patient time line. But, my immune system and other organs are slowly degrading. I have to be very careful. I really don't wish to discuss it here in public. You can e-mail me if you want to talk about it more.

bwian said...

"bwian. You're not hitting the nail on the head. Simply because the extended lifespan ranges of the healthiest of the other religious or ideological sects is not pointed out does not mean that the classifications follow the circular reasoning you impute to them. If one, say, placed the standard as being the top 25% of any given group in lifespan or quality of life indicators as being 'the healthiest' RATHER than merely setting some range of years above and beyond a standard life expectancy. Then you could come up with meaningful differentiation between the groups."

Indeed, there is no statement of their reasoning one way or the other. I don't honestly know how they decided to classify 'the healthiest', or how that would skew the statistics if applied to the rest of the population. And, unless you have some further reference, neither do you. So, why should I lend the article the slightest credibility? I certainly wouldn't use the article as the basis to say something like "Seeing as the average Mormon male in the US that's devout lives an extra 8-11 years longer than his non-Mormon counterpart...", for instance. Do you know anyone who would be that intellectually dishonest? The article iteself skims off the top of the statistical cream, without saying how, and yet that is magically transformed into "the average Mormon male". In Lake Woebegone, maybe...

Kathryn said...

O for pete's sake, I'm not even going to waste my time. Bwian's clear expose combined with the previously noted (to self) ignorance of the word "rate" (indicating that more people would yield higher rates simply because it was more people doesn't understand how rates and percentages work.

There are some very very basic logic issues and if I had a couple hours with nothing to do, I'd reiterate what others have already said anyway. LOL