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  #961  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:11
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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This is the No True Scotsman argument:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

It is a logical fallacy. If Hitchens has to grab at this particular straw, it shows he's heavily on the defensive.
I'm well familiar with the argument, as it is the most used by religious people everywhere.

But what he points out is true, Also his clear favoritism for the Russian Orthodox Church could further prove the case against it being an Atheists state: As he did favor and in fact proposed the restauration of the patriarchate.


On the point of the USSR and the other states being communists, is as much as saying that the nazi's were socialist; it is the appropriation of names and definitions that turn the issue confusing.

USSR as been defined as a State Capitalist society.
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Last edited by Ouchboy; 22.03.2011 at 11:13. Reason: Added some clarification.
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  #962  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:14
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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I must be watching the wrong movies.
Maybe you're not young
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  #963  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:17
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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We still have a public holiday on May 1st, but I doubt many people know very much about Karl Marx these days. Probably not even the ones who celebrate his birthday (or whatever) by fighting the police and setting fire to cars.
May 1st has nothing to do with Karl Marx.

Anyway: He happened to be born in my hometown. His family has been Jewish for centuries but his dad decided to become protestant in order to be less discriminated against. My hometown is as catholic as it gets. Marx was with his background quite an outsider to religion (His dads pragmatic approach of changing the belief for social reasons was quite unusual) and aparently observed the catholic traditions very well: The area was not exactly rich, workers worked unbelievably hard and the social situations for the working class was overall simply terrible - my grandgrandfather was working easily 12 hour days building railway tracks... Marx recognized that if all would stand up and do something about it, it could improve easily. That's how he invented communism in a nutshell. But instead of doing anything to improve their situation, people went to church and prayed for better times. Marx was a very smart person and could see how the clergy basically kept control of the masses and prevented social unrest for the emperor.

So you have to put his comments on religion into this context and suddenly it makes sense. At his time, religion was indeed "opium for the masses".

Today we all enjoy a better education and typically do not follow priests blindly. There is far less reason for social unrest today than in the 19th century... that's the real problem of the church: The church - and especially the catholic one - has always been against any form of change. However, the world is changing faster than ever at an incedible speed. The churches do not really manage to connect to many people in Europe anymore as they simply seem to live in a parallel universe - Who can take it seriously if the church today pardons Gallilei or something in that line?

I am not surprised to see that religion - anyone really - is therefore the stronger the more traditional and uneducated a society is. From Christians in Africa to Muslims in Arabia - it is far easier to influence the less educated masses that are in need of basic help than some wealthy and educated Europeans who ask more difficult questions...
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  #964  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:19
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

Personally speaking, Im definitely not wanting a completely atheist society (although I am an athiest). I would just like a truly secular society which promotes freedom for people to believe what they want to believe without one point of view dominating the political scene. I thinks its great nowdays that religion isn't the thing that binds communities together (like the examples that some people have shared in this thread). It should be about common values yes, but about getting along, common interests and above all respect
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  #965  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:22
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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...Ahm no, as you failed to mention them....
My answers weren't convincing because I didn't post them? Now you've really confused me.

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No, what Hitchens and most atheists state is that no claim to absolute truth and morality due to supernatural claims is valid, and is irritating when you have to push it on the rest.
Sure. I don't disagree with that. But like most human beings, I believe my world view to be true out of personal conviction. I.e. I find it to be true in my experience. (I make no appeal to the supernatural). You find your atheism to be valid, I'd assume, for the same reason. But there are atheists who push their world view on to others, which most of us find irritating.

Militant atheism is as annoying as in-your-face religion. Or in-your-face anything.
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  #966  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:25
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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I guess she means that protestantism was predominant in large parts of switzerland for hundreds of years, due to Calvin and Zwingli. You might want to add these two guys to your account of the development of protestantism.
Yes, this, had no time in the morning, sorry. I was referring to Official Stats of CH, that get published in Neuch, since the national office is there. Some areas which used to be predominantly protestant are slowly changing into catholic, due to influx of immigrants from catholic countries and other mixing within the population here, it is probably linked to work mobility. So, it may seem as religion decreasing in some areas, while it is actually making space for other churches.

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That is incorrect. For the western part the cities (and cantons) Geneva, Vaud and Neuchatel (the majority) were protestant. Only the smaller (populationwise) part, Valais, Fribourg, Jura were predominantly catholic.
Exactly. Plus the other paragraph you said.

I'd also say, it could depend what grip do different churches have on their members, some feel part but do not say officially, young ones, for example, some are proud members, since the particular church makes up for part of their national identity, too. I have foreign kids proudly making public what church they belong to, some smaller groups keep theirs quiet to not stick out, etc. Integration and being a part of a very small, not very popular church is another thing, people will keep quiet, mostly. Some travel hours into Swiss German part, my orthodox students, for example, for a mass on weekends and to chil with their distant family, that is directly linked to church festivities.

So, I wouldn't make sweeping generalizations about new generation, really. It's more complicated, with mobility of people, immigration, roots in local villages and traditions, etc.

Fascinating, innit.
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  #967  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:31
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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... He happened to be born in my hometown. His family has been Jewish for centuries but his dad decided to become protestant in order to be less discriminated against. My hometown is as catholic as it gets.
Is it just me, or does anyone else find that a bit odd. If your hometown is strongly catholic, why on earth did he choose protestantism?

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..The church - and especially the catholic one - has always been against any form of change.
Much of that is because the Catholic church theology holds tradition in a high place. Which means if the church said it in 300AD, it's right now. Protestentism is much more comfortable with saying - that bloke in 300AD - he got it wrong.
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I am not surprised to see that religion - anyone really - is therefore the stronger the more traditional and uneducated a society is. From Christians in Africa to Muslims in Arabia - it is far easier to influence the less educated masses that are in need of basic help than some wealthy and educated Europeans who ask more difficult questions...
I have a deep aversion to the knee jerk religion inculcated on the less educated. I think it is absolutely vital that Christians (and indeed anyone religious person) really understands what they believe. (From my perspective, without that understanding, how can you be sure that you've got it right?). I think it is great that there are theology professors who are not believers (though obviously they're going to hell, so it's not thatgreat ). That way we get to debate really good questions.

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Personally speaking, Im definitely not wanting a completely atheist society (although I am an athiest). I would just like a truly secular society which promotes freedom for people to believe what they want to believe without one point of view dominating the political scene. I thinks its great nowdays that religion isn't the thing that binds communities together (like the examples that some people have shared in this thread). It should be about common values yes, but about getting along, common interests and above all respect
I'm totally with you on this. I'd hate to live in a completely Christianised society. See Calvin's Geneva if you want to know what it's like.
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  #968  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:32
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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You find your atheism to be valid, I'd assume, for the same reason. But there are atheists who push their world view on to others, which most of us find irritating.

Militant atheism is as annoying as in-your-face religion. Or in-your-face anything.
Which atheists have done this to you?

I've never had an atheist push their view on me by calling at my door, giving me leaflets on buses and dropping booklets through my door.

When I open a drawer in a hotel room, I've never discovered a tome by Richard Dawkins.
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  #969  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:34
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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You find your atheism to be valid, I'd assume, for the same reason.
I think here is where the misinterpretation lies.

I find theism and deism to be invalid as no evidence has been presented for such cases. This overall opinion is named atheism, but it is not that I find atheism as a set of hyptohesis of statements to be valid as such does not exist.

It is not my experience and conviction that plays into the role of said atheism, it is the amounts of lacking facts to support the supernatural.



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When I open a drawer in a hotel room, I've never discovered a tome by Richard Dawkins.
I did, but it was my book which I thought was in my backpack
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  #970  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:38
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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Yes, they get it everywhere - in movies, books etc. but they don't understand it and they don't make connections. Show the "The Life of Brian" - they won't see why it is funny.

One of the funniest parts in the life of Brian is when the Roman soldier (John Cleese) corrects one of the Israelite’s Latin Grammar in a piece of graffiti. Most people wouldn’t see the funny side of that due to a lack of language training and/or a classical education in the vast majority of British schools, not a lack of in-depth religious knowledge.

Christianity is going the way of the Greek and Roman Gods, if you want my advice junk the old Gods and join in with the Islam! We'll all be Muslim eventually, might as well get a head start! Right... where's my Burka...
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  #971  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:38
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

Doesn't this thread belong in Off-Topic? The connection with Switzerland is extremely tenuous. The article only mentioned Switzerland once (out of nine countries) and in any case everyone knows that secularisation is occurring in all Western countries (including the UK; US as well although less rapidly). Can a mod intervene?
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  #972  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:40
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

We are discussing the situ in CH (history, etc), what that article states and how it manifests here, thanks for a suggestion, though.
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  #973  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:45
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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Which atheists have done this to you?...
Those that feel the need to broadcast loud and clear their world view in any thread that touches on the subject of religion. TV presenters who mention that they're atheists during their program, when it isn't relevant to the subject at hand. ( Professor Brian Cox for one - those he's really irritating for a whole bunch of other reasons ).

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...but it is not that I find atheism as a set of hypothesis of statements to be valid as such does not exist.
From the atheist worldview, that would be the case.

If I say - well, you've got this: Hypothesis 1. There is no god.

You could reply, "there is no need to prove this , as the onus of proof lies on those who believe there is. Therefore it is not a hypothesis."

From my p.o.v. the 'hypothesis' is falsifiable, but it isn't provable.
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  #974  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:48
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

Seems more like a general debate on religion vs secularism.

Well, I'll try to get this back on topic. Yes, religion is dying out in CH and it is not just the church tax. The church has become something only cultural and not much else. One is baptised, maybe get sent to catechism (although the parents don't attend church), and maybe get married in the church. Some people return to the church once they retire which is why you only see grey-hairs at most parishes.

By the way, in all of this, CH is not much different from anywhere else.
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Old 22.03.2011, 11:50
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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We are discussing the situ in CH (history, etc), what that article states and how it manifests here, thanks for a suggestion, though.
And, if it becomes tit for tat, yet another religion vs atheism fight, it gets shipped...
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  #976  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:50
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

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From the atheist worldview, that would be the case.

If I say - well, you've got this: Hypothesis 1. There is no god.

You could reply, "there is no need to prove this , as the onus of proof lies on those who believe there is. Therefore it is not a hypothesis."

From my p.o.v. the 'hypothesis' is falsifiable, but it isn't provable.
Your hypothesis is a Null hypothesis, as you said it isn't provable. You cannot prove a negative.

You need to use the positive hpyothesis and prove that, in orther to disprove the Null.

The onus is on the person who claims that There is a god to prove it. Not the other way around.

In short no, that is not the case. The propositon that God exists was put forth a long time ago, and people have been arguing that the Null holds until someone can prove their claim.
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Old 22.03.2011, 12:04
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Re: Religion dying out in Switzerland

Ok, off the thread goes to better suited playground.
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Old 22.03.2011, 12:21
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Re: Religious Musings

Then there's those dangerous characters who build a whole science on a null hypothesis, how about creationism?

This to me is far more dangerous than the religion itself.

I love the comments I must be Stalin or a communist because I want to remove religion, no I want to remove it as the only practising members of various faiths left seem to be loonies.
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Old 22.03.2011, 12:29
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Re: Religious Musings

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...I love the comments I must be Stalin or a communist because I want to remove religion, no I want to remove it as the only practising members of various faiths left seem to be loonies.
Aha - you're a psychiatrist. That'll get the scientologists after you. (Another dangerous religion).
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Old 22.03.2011, 12:33
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Re: Religious Musings

I wonder what happened to "Live and Let Live", "No, thankyou, I'm not interested. Have a nice day!", "Well, if it's all the same to you, I think I will go to church this Sunday, but you're more than welcome to stay in bed or go for a walk instead." and "I don't believe in any of that, but if it makes sense to you, fill your boots!"?
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