By February 24, 2016 94 Comments Read More →

Religious Children Have Trouble Distinguishing Reality from Fiction

prayer-children-flag-religion

Anna Hunt, Staff
Waking Times

A study conducted by researchers led by Kathleen H. Corriveau of Boston University examined how religious exposure affects a child’s ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. They found that religious exposure at an early age has a surprising effect: it makes children less able to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

The researchers presented three different types of stories – religious, fantastical and realistic – to a group of 5 and 6-year olds. Religious children were divided into three groups: children exposed to the Christian religion either as churchgoers who attended public school, non-churchgoers who attended parochial school, or churchgoers who attended parochial school. The fourth group of children included non-churchgoing children who attended public school and had no exposure to religion in either church or school. The goal of the research was to find out if religious exposure would affect the child’s ability to identify if the lead character in each of the stories was real or make-believe.

The study found that children who attended church services and/or were enrolled in a parochial school had a much harder time differentiating between fact and fiction when compared to children of non-religious background. The study, published in the journal Cognitive Science, states:

“The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”

The most surprising aspect of the research was how children’s upbringing affected how they judge the main character in fantastical stories. These stories included events, brought about by magic (in Study 1) or without reference to magic (in Study 2), that would ordinarily be impossible. Secular children were much more likely to identify the characters in these stories as make-believe, while children with religious exposure were more likely to identify them as real.

The researchers found that all children, regardless of their religious background, identified the main character of the realistic stories as real. When presented with religious stories, that included “ordinarily impossible events brought about by divine intervention,” children who attended church or were enrolled in a parochial school, or both, identified the lead character as real, which isn’t unexpected. On the other hand, children with no religious exposure judged the protagonist of the religious stories to be fictional.

The study’s authors suggest:

“…even if children have no natural inclination to believe in divine or superhuman agency, religious instruction can readily lead them to do so.”

“…religious teaching, especially exposure to miracle stories, leads children to a more generic receptivity toward the impossible, that is, a more wide-ranging acceptance that the impossible can happen in defiance of ordinary causal relations.”

The results of this study could lead one to think that religion, intentionally or not, takes advantage of the natural gullibility of children and molds them into believing in the power of divine characters presented in religious teachings and literature such as the Bible. About 28 percent of Americans who participated in the 2013-2014 Gallup survey believe that the Bible is the actual word of God  and should be interpreted literally, while another 47 percent think that the Bible is inspired by the word of God. It is pretty clear that we are not born believers, but are shaped into believers depending on our exposure to religious teachings.

It is difficult to prove if growing up in a religious setting turns children into better people, and some studies have even shown that religious children are meaner and more punitive than secular children. The study by Corriveau et al. identifies an addition effect of religious teachings and how they create tremendous support for antiquated and fantastical stories by feeding them to children from an early age, giving the powers that be the ability to use religion for the justification of impractical or even malevolent acts.

The full study can be viewed here: http://www.bu.edu/learninglab/files/2012/05/Corriveau-Chen-Harris-in-press.pdf

Read more articles from Anna Hunt.

About the Author

Anna Hunt is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in research and editorial writing. She and her husband run a preparedness e-store outlet at www.offgridoutpost.com, offering GMO-free storable food and emergency kits. Anna is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her excellent articles here. Visit her essential oils store here.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/children-religion-fact-fiction_n_5607009.html

http://www.medicaldaily.com/fantasy-or-reality-children-religious-backgrounds-less-able-detect-fictional-characters-295684

This article (Religious Children Have Trouble Distinguishing Reality from Fiction) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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  • drklassen

    This “study” has no point; of what possible use is it for a 6 year old to distinguish between fiction and history? Do they have *any* evidence that being able to make those distinctions that early is “better”? Or could it be worse?!?

    And did this distinguish between religions? Sure, if you raise a kid in a religious-right upbringing, they could turn out mean and heartless. But is that the fault of religion in general? Or *particular* religions? Or just particular *philosophies* regardless of religious ties?

    Bullshit “study” is bullshit. Or it’s been taken completely out of context by bullshit “reporter”.

  • Constance

    Ha ha Satanic Globalist article demonising Jesus (the real freedom fighter) and his followers. Just another JEWISH HOAX (New Age/Liberalism/Progressivism/NeoCon/Marxism/Communism/Freemasonry/Zionism…!

  • Philip Mellon

    What drivel. When will these mouth-breathing non-believers quit trying to be taken seriously?

  • WhiteEagle

    Children are masters at ‘pretend’. Whether religious or not. But another thing, because most do not have so much skeptism, they, and animals as well, can notice things out of the ordinary, before we do. Sometimes things really do go ‘bump’ in the dark.

  • IMHO

    Oh. And non religious children are totally rooted in reality. NOT! Another BS story from a mentally deficient agitator. Trying to mind bend children’s thoughts to make a point just goes to show the ignorance of some people.

  • L Garou

    Doesn’t everyone?

  • Inspire

    Whose reality?

  • premkumar

    What is reality?
    The so called reality is nothing more than “collective fiction”
    Individual “fiction” is more authentic than reality.

  • Ken Lcfc

    Why is it surprising results? I could have told people that at a much lower cost.

  • zarcon zarconinni

    Your right. I didn’t read all of it and just reacted to the title of the paper. Thanks for the heads up.

  • zarcon zarconinni

    We teach children all kinds of fantasy and call it reality. e.g., if you acquire money or objects of desire that they have actual power to make you happy. If you find the ‘right’ mate that they have the actual power to make you happy; fantastical dogma’s and aspects of Nationalism are taught as reality. You will be happy if you have a skinny body, a pop star or an athlete. The list is too long just for the category of Materialism and Nationalism.

  • Ronin

    Religion poisons everything, beginning with childhood.

  • L Garou

    In case you’re wondering, here’s reality..

    Realitycheck

    Reality check

  • Clearly the author has a definition of ‘reality’ that presumes to judge the choices of others rather than understand them.

    Social, cultural and familial conditioning is known about – in whatever one is born into. However, such conditioning does not ‘stick’ and is only selectively taken on – according a wide range of variables.

    In the term ‘religious’ as used in this article, I would include any information or story that is required to be believed or at least shown outer allegiance in behaviour.

    Scientism believes it is dealing with fact and therefore superior to and in righteous judgement over ‘silly superstition’. The same thing happened to religion with religionism.

    If one’s primary motive is to forge a personal and collective identity – as a way to limit reality to terms of control – then regardless the form it takes – it is ignorant of the reality of a wholeness of being – for the masked persona is centre stage and the altar of a true desire lived and shared is thus hidden.

    The mask depends on perpetual war to justify itself over and against others. The blind self-righteous assertion always generates a like response – because we hate to be forced against our will. But oppositional vengeance (hatred) is not our true will.

    Stories can be used for and in support of wholeness, health and integration as well as for weaving self-justifictions. Stories are rich in cultural information that in a sense is part of a rich cultural inheritance from all that have gone before us. The appreciation of the information in story is many levelled, and what on surface is an adventure can hold depths of reflection of guidance and support for the embracing of what it is to live Human.

    A disconnected, analytical mind is a fantasy that can serve purpose when kept in its place – but can become a means to become hostage to a false sense of power when given to a cold and loveless intent. There IS no ultimate ‘disconnecting’ of mind from the Gift of Awareness by which it knows itself existing. It’s a trick of focusing in thought that is not true of you.

    In a world of increasing disinformation, deceit and desperation to maintain the mask of identity and control, it is as if ‘reality’ is breaking down. But in truth it is idols or images/models of reality that no longer ‘work’ or can no longer be maintained – and so we are re-connecting with feelings the identity was invoked to protect against; including terror and rage, grief and despair. We HATE to feel our self-hatred as we fear to feel our terror and rage to escape our rage. In such intensity we go to great lengths to dissociate and ‘protect’ a fragment of our self from such intolerable state, covering our tracks as we set it up – or it would not work. Unconscious is thus defended to remain so – and the patterning of such defence is of multiple shifting oppositional tensions. The scientific mind tends to dissociate from feeling – as a mode of control over feeling. It took this mantle on from religious beliefs that asserted rigid ideas of perfection as the one truth as ways to ‘overcome’ what were felt to be sinful or evil feelings and thoughts.

    Everyone and every era and culture works out or rather unfolds it own strategy of ‘coping’ with the human conditioning – which is difficult to uncover and heal because it is protected, defended and even worshipped as The Truth.

    If we ‘read’ everyone and everything to see if it supports or agrees with us, only letting it in if it does, and otherwise subjecting it to judgements that operate as our personal defence against what we refuse to relate of communicate with – are we not having trouble in distinguishing reality from fantasy? And is that a sin or a confusion calling for a healing response?

  • Dave Randle

    On the question of Scientism as religion, you might like to read my book, Blinded with Science. Hardly anyone else has, so you’ll have an advantage. The above article is riddled with generalities and only has the purpose to stultify thinking and imagination. The gospel according to Dawkins. If you call something science, everyone believes it no matter how little removed from hogwash. If you call it religion it’s somehow dangerous, even if developed over thousands of years of thinkers. Someone with only five senses couldn’t get out of bed, let alone do up shoelaces or follow a Scandinavian drama. Try thinking rather than swallowing whole. I think you’ll like it.

    • Albert J. Brown

      Your atrocious comma use is not a selling point for your book. There’s no need for a comma before the word “so,” No need for one between “science” and “everyone,” “dangerous” and “even,” and “let alone” should be enclosed by a semi=colon and comma. I don’t usually call out someone’s grammar but you chose to promote your book so…

      • Dave Randle

        Thanks for hitting on the important subject matter, Albert. My English is English English taught by masters in the old country, and I have worked as a n author here and in the States, as well as an editor and journalist for 25 years. But I can always learn something.

        • Albert J. Brown

          Cool, nothing like excuses and sensitive egos rather than humility! You have a weak grasp on punctuation and sentence structure despite all of that experience and instruction. No amount of stating your credentials or using “English English” as an excuse actually excuses anything. That’s fine, though, be offended rather than exercising the humility it takes to correct your mistakes.

          • zarcon zarconinni

            He wrote, a book and admits, that hardly anybody has read it. A sensitive ego ,would not admit this freely, but a humble person, would. If you had humility, you would have, recognized this, as I have.

          • Albert J. Brown

            Wow, zarcon, that is shockingly bad reading comprehension on your part.

          • Dave Randle

            None taken, I assure you. I’ve enjoyed our correspondence and genuinely hope you find the help you need.

          • Albert J. Brown

            “None taken”? What are you talking about? Do you think i said “no offense,” or something similar? Phew, that just reinforces everything i thought about you.

      • Dave Randle

        Incidentally, I didn’t come n here to promote my book, though it would be good to sell some copies. My book represents my views, and would save me a lot of this stuff if people would read it and then comment. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with promoting a book you have taken three years to write. It would be nice to get something back on it, but it’s not my major purpose. I want people to think about the issues and come to their own conclusions.

  • Marie Beckett

    I wonder why only Christianity was put in the study? How about the Jewish religion, Islam,, Mormonism, Scientology……..and of course the Eastern religions? For me, when defining a religion I also include Democratism, Republicanism……….blah, blah, blah. And ultimately it is broken down by a belief in a slave and a master……..hence we get to the most DANGEROUS religion of them all…………A BELIEF IN GOVERNMENT.

  • Jafar Karim

    Hard to accept this when not controlled for the thousands of hours of television programming children watch. According to the book “The Plug-In Drug: Television, Children, And The Family”, watching television from an early age makes it difficult for children to differentiate between fiction and reality.

  • EKMcM

    Golly Gee, I’ll bet that kids age also believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and only the Tooth Fairy knows what else. How about at 12 or 15 years of age, How about moral values as they are entering into adulthood around 16 to 18 years of age.
    Now let’s outlaw comic books, cartoons, Disneyland and the such – show the world just how mucked up our minds have becoome.

  • Veri Tas

    Similar processes occur when adults are inculcated with faux theories in their chosen field of study at a tertiary institution. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have become obedient automatons who will favour belief in authority and succumb to peer pressure over thinking autonomously and pursuing open-minded enquiry.

    Orthodox medicine is one faculty that takes advantage of this stunted human condition by instilling deliberately false theories, that are nonetheless highly useful to the funding industry behind this field of ‘study.’

    An example of a blatantly incorrect theory that still stems from the 19th century is the ‘germ theory’ of disease. This has led the world down the very lucrative virus (problem) and vaccine (solution) path which is increasingly being enforced (fascist medicine), as the people are waking up to the fact that we hold the power over health or disease in our own hands; we do not need any toxic medicine to ward off the devil out there.

  • hvaiallverden

    Ahh, fiction and reality, yea, and thats from an “profesore” in something.
    I slipped at the begining of it all.

    Hehe
    Coming from people that think we are just neurons farting and thats it, of course this setts up an cause and effect but thats stil just pure mechanics, isnt it.
    The truth is that this kind of debates are downright stupid, and reveals stupidness an mass, God this and God that, Il tell you boy, you dont know jackshit about anything, exept what your perseption whom is limited by an narrow bobble called reality, witch cant exsist without an conscious prosess taking place.

    You dont even agree upon the Atom, huh, money is printed out of thin air, and AGW is boiling Artic, and you blame an religious man for beliving in something obscure, and entety that demands love and compasion, forces witch you dont know anything about.

    Take a tripp and come back and then we talk, otherwise I dont bother to waist time and effort on druling morons, militant atheists, fueled by ignorance and arrogance, the perfect tool for pulverising credibility and truth.
    Crawl back to you shithole and stay there, medival pesants.
    With your crackpott science, aka bigg bang and evolution, where I like to remind the morons about what He wrote on the latest editions of his worminfested heep of utter bollocs.
    Gott the balls to read the words from your “messia”.

    peace

  • Zionist Subversion of America

    Manmade religion is a detriment to spiritual evolution.

    • Ezra Pound

      There is no scientific evidence that such a thing as a “spirit” exists, so therefore your belief in such a thing is a religious belief.

  • Bill the eighth

    Another far left radical with an agenda. This stupid woman expects us to believe that children raised in the church have a hard time telling fact from fantasy, but the little ones who aren’t raised in the church are fine. How does that work when they tell those children lies too? Lies like the tooth fairy, the government is just and benevolent and has your best interests at heart etc. What utter nonsense, she should be fired immediately for publishing such tripe.

  • Bob Eldridge

    Religion can be confusing. The fact that most refuse to except is that Scripture can only be taught and understood in spirit. It is Gods seal upon His Word; without His guidance, that is, Christ working within us. Only confusion can result when being interpreted by the minds of men; It doesn’t matter how many ways anyone attempts to explain it, without submission to His Spirit, you will not get it.

    1Co 2:13-14 Which we also speak – not in words taught of human wisdom, but in such as are taught of the Spirit, by spiritual words, spiritual things, explaining. But, a man of the soul, doth not welcome the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, and he cannot get to know them, because, spiritually, are they examined;

  • Ezra Pound

    What about the false religion of secular egalitarianism? The religion of liberal progressive secular egalitarianism is responsible for more deaths than all theistic religions combined.

    • Zionist Subversion of America

      The Roman Catholic church claims to be egalitarian but 2000 years of history says otherwise. Judaism is a xenophobic tribal cult and clearly isn’t egalitarian. I would argue that Darwinism, “might makes right” is the philosophy being used since the age of exploration and age of Imperialism. The US government clearly uses this philosophy. But here’s the thing. It isn’t natural Darwinism. Rich Oligarchs/Plutocrats and institutions, such as the Roman Catholic Church, create false parameters to ‘natural selection’ whereas they create the ‘laws’, for those they want to follow, and then don’t follow those laws themselves for their own means of making themselves powerful and prosperous.

      • Ezra Pound

        “secular egalitarianism is responsible for more deaths than all theistic religions combined.” – True or false?

        • Zionist Subversion of America

          I find that to be a broad statement. How do we know what happened 30,000 years ago? Are we talking modern times? Ancient Rome, China, and Egypt weren’t secular or egalitarian. I will disagree because I am curious as to your logic in making that statement.

          • Ezra Pound

            I’m just talking about within the horizon of the modern civilization that we belong to, about ~AD1450 to the present.

  • We the Sheeple

    This makes perfect sense because most organized religions are fiction anyways. Their intent has been from day 1 pure mind control of the people with the further illusion of promoting peace, love and some heavenly-type afterlife as long as you subscribe to their dogmas. The amount of war and death in the name of religion throughout human history is staggering.

    • Ezra Pound

      The religion of progressivism is a fiction too. “heir intent has been from day 1 pure mind control of the people with the further illusion of promoting peace, love and some heavenly-type afterlife as long as you subscribe to their dogmas.” – Yep, just like liberals. Your statement describes liberal fundamentalists to a “T”. “The amount of war and death in the name of religion throughout human history is staggering.” Yep. And the most destructive wars were fought over the religion of liberalism, like World War 2. The religion of liberal atheism has claimed more lives than all theistic religions combined,

      • Zionist Subversion of America

        Ezra Pound, interesting username. The burden of proof is on the people claiming that there is an invisible guy in the sky that can punish you if you don’t live the one life you get according to his rules. Non-belief, is not a belief unto itself. Perhaps you mean NeoLiberalism.

        • Ezra Pound

          There is no proof for God, and the fact that you ask for such proof shows that you don’t even understand the concept of “religion”. You’re an ignorant, arrogant person who thinks he’s got it all figured out, but you don’t. “Non-belief, is not a belief unto itself.” There is no such thing as “non-belief”. Show me a person without a religion and I will show you an animal, or a mentally disabled person. Being a humans means having a “religion” otherwise known as non-empirical beliefs about the world. You have a religious belief about how the world works because all people have such beliefs. The fact that you cannot recognize yours for what it is puts you at a disadvantage and is probably the source of much of your ignorance and arrogance. And “zionists” are not the problem, the problem is JEWS.

          • Zionist Subversion of America

            There is no such thing as “non-belief”. I was trying to convey that but perhaps I phrased it wrong. You don’t know my religious belief as I don’t believe in manmade organized religion to begin with. I am far from having it all figured out, which is why I am curious as to the logic behind your statement; but that’s for the insults bud. Perhaps I misconstrued your comments above as suggesting that you believed in a God, whereas my opinion is “I don’t know”. If everyone has a religious belief about how the world works than what is the correct belief? “Show me a person without a religion and I will show you an animal, or a mentally disabled person.” I don’t understand this comment.

          • Ezra Pound

            “If everyone has a religious belief about how the world works than what is the correct belief?” – Well, for one thing, why does there have to be a “correct” “one”? But I’ll go you even one better than that: correct ***for whom***? Not all people are the same, so the “correct” religion for one person might not be the “correct” religion for another person. If you’re asking, “but what is the way things REALLY are?” in the physicalist sense, there is no way they “REALLY” are, especially if you subscribe to something like Special or General Relativism. “Show me a person without a religion and I will show you an animal, or a mentally disabled person.” All this means is that part of the analytical definition of “human” is “having a religion”. Likewise, a knife without a cutting edge is not really a “knife” because “cutting edge” is a necessary part of the analytical definition of “knife”. Having a non-empirical narrative about the world around us (“religion”) is part of the analytical definition of “human being”.

          • zarcon zarconinni

            My cat has a ‘non-empirical belief about the world.’ Every time it thunders he hides under the be. He believes that thunder is harmful without any empiricism. By your definition my cat is religious. I guess I should buy him a suit now.

          • Ezra Pound

            Animals are programmed by their genetics and by their experiences to be be afraid of thunder because it is directly empirically linked with dangerous phenomena like heat, bright light, loud noise and most importantly, fire., all of which are very dangerous to animals. You example sucks and you’re wrong. Animals can’t have religion.

          • zarcon zarconinni

            Thats my point Dr. Brainiac. I just used your limited definition of religion. We are animals too and many of us just as witless. And many of us are prisoners of our instincts. We can change our physical propensities and bondage to our instincts by changing the practices of our mind. For example you could decide to be a nicer person and speak more kindly to

          • Ezra Pound

            “We are animals too” – All you’ve done here is make the word “animal” fuzzy and meaningless. Human beings are technically “animals” in the same way that water is technically “poisonous”. If you go around calling water poisonous – even though its strictly true if drink you enough of it – all you will accomplish is to do violence to the meaning of the word “poison” and render it useless. The fact that you think that “mind” is something physical shows that you have a deficient comprehension of the conceptual grammar involved with these ideas. Keep in mind that this isn’t a question of facts, it is a question of definitions. Being straight on what we mean by certain words is the absolute prerequisite to having a clear grasp of what we’re talking about when we debate the meaning of the facts, and you don’t have it here. I’m not interested in coddling anyone’s feelings, but I am genuinely sorry if that causes you distress.

          • zarcon zarconinni

            I realize that mind is not physical. I meant to say that mind changes the physical for better or worse. Instinct may be physically imprinted and observed but ‘mind’ has done this imprinting.

            Metaphysical truths can only be realized experientially by trial and error. These truths originate in the mind by will not be realized unless compassion is practiced on subtler and subtler levels.

            Word games do not distress me. They are kind of fun albeit mostly useless for realizing real truth.

            How much truth have you realized experientially as opposed to spinning other peoples ideas?

          • Ezra Pound

            “Metaphysical truths can only be realized experientially” – These ideas are clearly over your head.

      • Mysterian

        Dead on. I wonder how many can really understand it. Just considering Hagel, is nearly enough to prove the point. The theory of Thesis, antithesis, synthesis is overlooked by liberals because they are part of it.

        • Ezra Pound

          Believe it or not – if you’ll allow me to be a sperg for a miunte – but Hegel himself didn’t use the language of “Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis”, it was his predecessor Fichte.

          • Mysterian

            Now that’s one I never knew. I appreciate the road map. It’s not surprising one person has the thought but the credit goes to someone else down the line. It seems to me that the theory is in full form by think tanks like Tavistock Institute whose beginnings were for brainwashing.
            It’s been a lot of years since I took philosophy in college, but I always enjoyed it. It makes you think of the world in different terms and not accept things at face value. In many ways, it has helped me along my life’s path. By the way, I’m wondering how many people even know who Ezra Pound was or his compatriot Eustace Mullins?

  • hem

    Did a New Ager just seriously tell us that those of us raised as Christian can’t distinguish between fact and fiction? Seriously?

    • xyz

      Religion is cancer, end of story. When u will understand that – if u ever will – everything will be better for u.

      • Ezra Pound

        All humans beings have a “religion”, i.e., a non-empirical story they tell themselves about how the world works. ALL human beings have a such a “story”. People like you are at a disadvantage because you don’t recognize that (1) not only do you have a “religion” (Scientism, presumably), but moreover (2) you are a fundamentalist zealot who tries to impose your religion on everyone around you. The basis of your religion Scientism is this: “anything which cannot be physically measures is unreal or insignificant.” That is a religious belief because it can never be proven or disproven by empirical observation. Rather, it is a statement of pre-existing attitude that is not based on any fact, only your naked belief. Scientistic fundamentalists are usually fanatically intolerant bigots. You are clearly one of those. “No religion has ever altered the world, and no fact can ever rebut a religion.” – Oswald Spengler. PS I have a degree in Philosophy with honors from one of the top 5 schools in the nation, so I know what I am talking about.

        • Zionist Subversion of America

          So you’re saying my religion is what I can observe with my 5 human senses, which determines my perspective of reality; rather than believing in invisible things that are magical?

          • Ezra Pound

            No, what I am saying is that your “religion” is the belief that only what you can sense with your 5 senses is real. That is a religious belief because no conceivable scientific experiment can ever prove or disprove it. It is basically just an opinion you have for which there is no proof to back it up, just like there is no prood to back up a belief in a transcendent God. “Is there a difference between schizophrenia and talking to an invisible magical man in the sky, and giving money to him?” – Yes, and you can see it on Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Schizophrenics cannot control what they think and feel.

          • Zionist Subversion of America

            Have you heard of the Double Slits Experiment and what modern quantum physics is discovering about our universe and perceived reality? The data suggests we are living in a complex simulation.

          • Ezra Pound

            Like I said, I have a degree in philosophy, which involved studying modern physics. Listen carefully: no conceivable fact discoverable by science can ever prove or disprove the existence of God. I’ll repost the Spengler quote: “No religion has ever altered the world, and no fact can ever rebut a religion.” When Spengler says, “No religion has ever altered the world” what he means is that people have the kind of religion that naturally suits them and it is not religions which shape people, but people which shape religions (though to be fair, there is some interdependence). When Splengler said, “no fact can ever rebut a religion” what he meant was that the realm of facts and the realm of religion are entirely separate and they never meet, so therefore no fact can ever influence the truth or falsity of a religion because no religion bases its truth or falsity on the facts. Do you see? Think about it and maybe read Spengler.

          • Mysterian

            Simply put, are you talking about Fideism?

          • Ezra Pound

            In a sense, yes. What any given fact “says” is necessarily conditioned by the beholder’s pre-existing ideas about the world. A person with one world-view will interpret the meaning of a fact differently than a person with another world-view. And this is not relativism, either. Relativism would be if two people with the same world-view interpret the “fact” differently without articulating a basis for the distinction.

          • Albert J. Brown

            “Like I said, I have a degree in philosophy, which involved studying modern physics.”
            And again, your insecurity is palpable.

          • Muh Principles

            Palpable. Was that on your word of the day calednar this morning?

          • Zionist Subversion of America

            “No, what I am saying is that your “religion” is the belief that only
            what you can sense with your 5 senses is real. That is a religious
            belief because no conceivable scientific experiment can ever prove or
            disprove it. It is basically just an opinion you have for which there
            is no proof to back it up, just like there is no prood to back up a
            belief in a transcendent God.”

            I agree with this but I disagree with it being described as ‘religion’. Our human senses are how we perceive the environment we live in. Then every living thing would adhere to that same religion as sensory perception is how every animal appears this existence. I understand what you’re saying but in itself is like saying our entire existence is “religious” because perceiving the world around us with our senses is religious. It seems kind of like circular logic.

            I think you should look in to the modern physics theory that we are living in a complex simulation, like a computer program or matrix if you will. It doesn’t disprove or prove God of course.

          • Careful now, you’ve just engaged in an argument with someone who believes that atheism is a religion.

          • Harold4321

            They can’t get anymore brain dead than this one.

          • Ronin

            Your name tells us you are a victim of religion and are unable to distinguish fact from fiction. The “Zionist Subversion of America” is not just fiction, it is a damned lie. You are pitiable.

          • Zionist Subversion of America

            So what is AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, American Zionist Council, and World Zionist Organization all about? And why do you think they aren’t a part of the history taught in American schools and colleges?

          • Michele Brown

            There are eyes and then there are ‘eyes.

        • Mysterian

          “We see things not as they are, but as we are. H.M Tomlinson
          “Religion is the opiate of the masses and the sigh of the oppressed creature”. Karl Marx

          “Religion without science is lame, but science
          without religion is blind.” Einstein

          I went to school too.

          • Ezra Pound

            Two of the people you cite are Jews, i.e., enemies of the human race.

          • Ezra Pound

            “secular egalitarianism is responsible for more deaths than all theistic religions combined.” — True or false?

          • Mysterian

            True. You only have to consider 3 people to realize that. Stalin, Mao and Hitler. Although religion has had it’s fair share with the crusades and Ottoman takeover.

          • You fell for another religiotard talking point (that all mass murderers are atheists) – as with almost everything about their schtick, it’s easily disproved and relies on their audience being at least as gullible as they are.

            If Nazism was atheistic, why did the SS have ‘Gott Mit Uns’ (“God [is] With Us”/Emmanuel) on their belt buckles?

            Hitler was at least as religious as Abraham Lincoln (or the average Borgia pope) – both used religious language to gull the schlubs in the crowd. Hitler’s writings and speeches were full of Christian nonsense.

            Stalin was raised Orthodox, and actually enrolled for the priesthood. He may well have repudiated his ‘faith’ later in life, but he was not raised outside organised religion (after all, where better than the Old Testament to learn that you have to crush you enemies, leaving no man, woman, child or beast alive?).

            Mao? Almost certainly an atheist, which is almost certainly irrelevant to the deaths for which he was responsible.

            And let’s not forget our Epicurus: if there is a god, then this happened on his watch. Either he could not prevent it (i.e., he is impotent), or he did not want to (i.e., he is evil). The Old Testament gives us some insight as to which of these to choose – any entity that would drown the entire planet in a fit of pique is a psychopath who should be exterminated, not worshipped.

            In any case, attributing the entire death toll of WWII to Hitler is as disingenuous as attributing the entire death toll of WWI to the Kaiser (a deeply religious man): both of those wars happened because the political classes of England, France and (later) the US involved themselves in what should have been minor territorial disputes.

            Without the US, WWI would have finished in 1916 and would have ended with a détente between the major powers. No needless prolongation of hostilities; no punitive treaty of Versailles; no Weimar hyperinflation; no rise of Hitler; no Holocaust.

            That’s right: but for Wilson’s intervention in 1917, there would not have been a Holocaust in the 1940s.

            Wilson was a Christian (as were Churchill and FDR – the men who consigned 300m people to life under Stalin, in full knowledge of Stalin’s death toll in Ukraine… the Holodomor).

            And not for nothin’ – do the tally in a more meaningful way. Count up all the property, life and wealth wasted on religion since Ancient Egypt: all based on nonsense.

            The ruling classes live on the excess productivity of the non-rulers: Every piece of monumental architecture is the result of defrauding the already-poor. Every cathedral and church was, and is, funded by gulling the already-downtrodden – making them fund the lives and palaces of the ecclesiasts under threat of eternal torment.

            Express the death toll of organised religion as a proportion of the population at the time: Mao, Stalin and the rest (‘Bomber’ Harris, Curtis le May, Truman, Churchill) just had more humans to work with. If the Church had still been in charge, the horror would have been worse – they are known to operate on the principle of ‘Caedite Eos:Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius’ (“Kill them all: the lord will know which are his”)

          • Mysterian

            You haven’t and can’t make the tie between religion CAUSING the exterminations in the Twentieth Century. In centuries past, the King by divine right, decided to attack other nations. The Pope by his divine right, decided to use the crusades to expand the catholic influence and lets not forget the inquisition. No where in the twentieth century was there a religious imperative claimed to begin a war. The SS also had the death skull on the knives as well. That ain’t a Jesus symbol!

          • Ronin

            You forgot the 150 million nature worshipers of Europe who were murdered in the name of christianity and another 150 million Natives in North and South America murdered by christians. You obviously do not know that Hitler was catholic and used religion to promote hatred for Jews and that Stalin was an alter boy. Both were steeped in religion.
            Lower case denotes disrespect.
            Signed,
            Native American (Muscogee)

          • drklassen

            They were killed in the name of economics and empire building.

          • Ronin

            It is not simply “false”; it is a damned lie.

          • Muh Principles

            Secular atheism is responsible for literally hundreds of millions of deaths versus a few hundred thousands for theism. You secular atheists are genocidal lunatics who should be locked away in large concentration centers so you cannot harm our Christian society.

          • Brenden Edwards

            whoa whoa whoa, I have no dog in this fight as I agree with both sides actually and it’s quite possible you’re trolling butbut lets get our facts straight here . Religions can be horrific and so can secularism and also a lot of “hard science” is often times proven in the long run to have been complete bullshit so you shouldn’t swallow what people tell you from either side. But C’mon here… a few hundred thousand for theism? I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure the historical estimate of people killed by the catholic church alone if you include all the crusades, the inquisition and the conversion of the new world is roughly 50 million and thats without including the nazis who were technically self identified as a christian movement before it was a nationalist socialist movement so… yeah evil is real and it will take whatever form is most effective, evil cares nothing about being religious or secular, and lets recognize that evil wins when we sit here and argue with one another over labels. we need to stop worrying about the reasons for why something is done and just call evil evil end of story

        • What absolute horseshít – a typical obfuscatory talking point by the semi-literate morons who continue to stump for an Iron Age genital-mutilation cult.

          Religion as the word is commonly understood, involves accepting a set of stories about the way the world works, irrespective of whether or not there is evidence for the story.

          Science, on the other hand, requires evidence. So for example, if it turns out prayer has never been observed to restore a severed limb… well, the scientific conclusion is that prayer is a woefully inefficient restorer of limbs. The religious conclusion is that god was busy or the person doing the praying weren’t pious enough – or some other childish nonsense.

          Religion involves faith – belief without requirement for evidence. So an internally-inconsistent set of documents written by committed partisans for one set of primitive nonsense, is a sufficient basis to put people who don’t believe to death.

          Science repudiates that childish idea, and requires evidence that supports an hypothesis: it is not enough for an internally-consistent set of equations to adequately explain much of what we observe (the ‘gaps’ are becoming smaller and smaller): science will spend half a lifetime making sure that the predicted outcomes of that set of equations can be established by experiment.

          Take, for example, the gravity waves that were recorded recently: forty years after the design for an effecive detector was hypothesised, and over a century since the waves themselves were hypothesised, scientific method obtained definitive proof.

          Contrast that with the epicycle approach of the numbskulls who believed the biblical geocentric cosmogony: they kept adding loops in the orbits of planets, as increasingly accurate observations made it clear that their model was wrong… while killing a bunch of people who disagreed with them (e.g., Bruno).

          Faith is the parallel cousin of bullshít (in the formal sense of the word): faith does not require evidence of truth of information being received by the faithful; bullshít (defined) is indifference to the truth of material being delivered by the bullshítter.

          • Ezra Pound

            tl;dr. And your mask is fcking gay dude.

          • Inspire

            Correction, folks, religion is a racket. It has little to do with anything other than control by the establishment. Let us try not to confuse religion with belief. For example, I don’t believe in religion. But I believe in GOD.

          • Michele Brown

            Why is it then that we have had and still do so much junk science historically??????

        • Albert J. Brown

          “PS I have a degree in Philosophy with honors from one of the top 5 schools in the nation, so I know what I am talking about.”
          The fact that you’re so insecure that you have to ad this immediately weakens everything you say.

          • Muh Principles

            No, I was just pre-empting the inevitable “you’re just some shmuck on the internet.” I’m sorry if people who are educated intimidate you.

          • Albert J. Brown

            No, you weren’t. You were being insecure and egotistical, among other immature things. And if you think “palpable” is a “big” word then you only reinforce the impressions you’re making.

      • Harold4321

        Iibtardation is cancer. This article and your post prove it, end of story.

      • Filip Sandor

        Yes and the central banks of the world will relinquish their power, just as soon as we understand that religion is cancer. FLAWLESS VICTORY!

      • CoffeeH

        If people have to be “shaped into believing”, no one would’ve ever believed anything.

    • You get your most revelatory information from talking snakes and burning bushes. What do you think?

      • Brenden Edwards

        the talking snakes and burning bushes are actually symbolic references that people during that age would have easily recognized, i.e. the acacia bush represents renewal and rebirth, the serpent was a widely used symbol but often represented enlightenment or wisdom, the problem is today we don’t use those symbols anymore so, what was at the time that it was written, something that made perfect sense to most people, most often times today looks like some nonsensical horseshit, those stories are full of wisdom but these same powerful symbolic stories were co-opted by very very bad people for a long time and used as a means of political power and control, we are still seeing the echoes of that today

        • But the bible’s the literal word of God isn’t it? Or do you just look for symbolism and decide how it suits your own point of view? Don’t you think that this might add to the confusion of children and prevent them from being able to differentiate between fact and fiction, cherry-picking what’s real and symbolic or allegorical?
          For anybody else it would be a case of ‘one or the other, not both’ but seems like religions can have their manna and eat it.

    • krimsenkatt

      Damn right they did.

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