% of religious homeschoolers

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Nancy Lebovitz

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Sep 20, 2005, 8:58:12 AM9/20/05
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IIRC, the last time we discussed home schooling, no one had any stats for
what proportion was primarily motivated by religion.

Behold:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110007199

According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
than 40% of the home-schooling market.


--
Nancy Lebovitz http://www.nancybuttons.com
http://livejournal.com/users/nancylebov

My two favorite colors are "Oooooh" and "SHINY!".

David Friedman

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Sep 20, 2005, 1:48:51 PM9/20/05
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In article <dgp114$mnh$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
nan...@panix.com (Nancy Lebovitz) wrote:

> IIRC, the last time we discussed home schooling, no one had any stats for
> what proportion was primarily motivated by religion.
>
> Behold:
>
> http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110007199
>
> According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
> than 40% of the home-schooling market.

Another thing I found interesting in that article was the point that
both religious and nonreligious homeschoolers like the same sorts of
books, broadly defined--stories where the children are acting
independently. That's at least mild evidence against the popular
anti-home schooling view of religious home schoolers--that their central
objective is to maintain their control over their children.

--
Remove NOPSAM to email
www.daviddfriedman.com

Paul Ciszek

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Sep 24, 2005, 12:18:35 PM9/24/05
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In article <dgp114$mnh$1...@reader1.panix.com>,

Nancy Lebovitz <nan...@panix.com> wrote:
>IIRC, the last time we discussed home schooling, no one had any stats for
>what proportion was primarily motivated by religion.
>
>Behold:
>
>http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110007199
>
> According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
> than 40% of the home-schooling market.

My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
religious households make up 40% of anything.

--
Please reply to: | "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is
pciszek at panix dot com | indistinguishable from malice."
Autoreply is disabled | --Me, plagarizing Clarke and Napoleon

Nancy Lebovitz

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Sep 24, 2005, 12:31:21 PM9/24/05
to
In article <dh3u8r$f5o$1...@reader1.panix.com>,

Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>
>In article <dgp114$mnh$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
>Nancy Lebovitz <nan...@panix.com> wrote:
>>IIRC, the last time we discussed home schooling, no one had any stats for
>>what proportion was primarily motivated by religion.
>>
>>Behold:
>>
>>http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110007199
>>
>> According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
>> than 40% of the home-schooling market.
>
>My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>religious households make up 40% of anything.

Interesting point. I have no idea how "non-religious household" is
defined. If you include people who think religious is vaguely ok but
don't do much of anything about it, you might get that 40%.

I admit I was reading carelessly and saw it as "people who are homeschooling
for non-religious reasons"--I could easily believe that 40% of homeschoolers
are in that category.

Paul Ciszek

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Sep 24, 2005, 12:40:10 PM9/24/05
to

In article <dh3v0p$bor$1...@reader1.panix.com>,

Nancy Lebovitz <nan...@panix.com> wrote:
>In article <dh3u8r$f5o$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
>Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>>
>>In article <dgp114$mnh$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
>>Nancy Lebovitz <nan...@panix.com> wrote:
>>>IIRC, the last time we discussed home schooling, no one had any stats for
>>>what proportion was primarily motivated by religion.
>>>
>>>Behold:
>>>
>>>http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110007199
>>>
>>> According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
>>> than 40% of the home-schooling market.
>>
>>My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>>religious households make up 40% of anything.
>
>Interesting point. I have no idea how "non-religious household" is
>defined. If you include people who think religious is vaguely ok but
>don't do much of anything about it, you might get that 40%.
>
>I admit I was reading carelessly and saw it as "people who are homeschooling
>for non-religious reasons"--I could easily believe that 40% of homeschoolers
>are in that category.

Actually, "40% are homeschooling for non-religious reasons" is *more*
believable. That would include households that are in some way religious,
but are homeschooling only because the local schools suck.

BTW, I've seen you attribute the sig quote below to someone else.
Did someone beat me to it? I'm thinking of asking you to put it on
a button, and if it should be attributed to someone else, I guess I
need to find that out.

David Friedman

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Sep 24, 2005, 12:43:03 PM9/24/05
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In article <dh3u8r$f5o$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
nos...@nospam.com (Paul Ciszek) wrote:

> In article <dgp114$mnh$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
> Nancy Lebovitz <nan...@panix.com> wrote:
> >IIRC, the last time we discussed home schooling, no one had any stats for
> >what proportion was primarily motivated by religion.
> >
> >Behold:
> >
> >http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110007199
> >
> > According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
> > than 40% of the home-schooling market.
>
> My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
> religious households make up 40% of anything.

My suspicion, given the context of the article, is that "nonrreligious"
doesn't mean atheist, it means "not people homeschooling because of
their religion." As opposed to religious believers who disapprove of the
available schools because what they teach is inconsistent with their
religion.

David Friedman

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Sep 24, 2005, 1:33:20 PM9/24/05
to
In article <dh3v0p$bor$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
nan...@panix.com (Nancy Lebovitz) wrote:

> I admit I was reading carelessly and saw it as "people who are homeschooling
> for non-religious reasons"--I could easily believe that 40% of homeschoolers
> are in that category.

This raises the interesting question of how broadly one ought to
interpret "religion." I'm an atheist, and I expect the local schools,
other than private Christian schools, would teach things consistent with
atheism, so in the narrow sense I'm not home schooling for religious
reasons.

On the other hand, I also have strong gut level feelings against people
pushing other people around, and the standard model of schooling
involves a very large amount of children doing things because adults
order them to do them. While I am happy to make arguments about why the
unschooling approach we follow is likely to work better than the
conventional model, especially (but not exclusively) for our kids, I
suspect an important part of hte motivation comes from those gut level
feelings. I don't want to send my kids to a place where other people
will be ordering them around all the time, and imposing on them those
people's decisions of what the kids should do and learn.

Is that a religous motivation?

Nancy Lebovitz

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Sep 24, 2005, 4:23:16 PM9/24/05
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In article <dh3vha$na1$1...@reader1.panix.com>,

Afaik, it was originated by Avedon Carol.

Doug Wickstrom

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Sep 24, 2005, 5:22:42 PM9/24/05
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On Sat, 24 Sep 2005 10:33:20 -0700, in message
<ddfr-4BAEE5.1...@news.isp.giganews.com>
David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> caused electrons
to dance and photons to travel coherently in saying:

>On the other hand, I also have strong gut level feelings against people
>pushing other people around, and the standard model of schooling
>involves a very large amount of children doing things because adults
>order them to do them. While I am happy to make arguments about why the
>unschooling approach we follow is likely to work better than the
>conventional model, especially (but not exclusively) for our kids, I
>suspect an important part of hte motivation comes from those gut level
>feelings. I don't want to send my kids to a place where other people
>will be ordering them around all the time, and imposing on them those
>people's decisions of what the kids should do and learn.
>
>Is that a religous motivation?

Maybe.

It's probably not a good idea, in the long run, to never expose
children to situations in which they must obey orders, however
arbitrary, and however seemingly nonsensical.

Consider the traffic stop. Smile, be pleasant, do what you're
told, and everything works out reasonably well, mostly. Argue,
don't cooperate, disparage the officer's parentage and sexual
habits, and you're likely to take a trip to the local lockup.

--
Doug Wickstrom <nims...@comcast.net>

"The Internet is a great way to get on the Net." --Bob Dole

Now filtering out all cross-posted messages and everything posted
through Google News.


Mike Stone

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Sep 24, 2005, 5:36:23 PM9/24/05
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"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-4BAEE5.1...@news.isp.giganews.com...


It's arguably an ideological one. Whether you count it as "religious"
depends on your personal definition of religion. I probably wouldn't count
it as such, but YM very definitely MV in this area.
--


Mike Stone - Peterborough, England

European Ideal:
Italian cook, English policeman, German engineer, French lover
Everything organised by the Swiss.

European reality:
English cook, German policeman, French engineer, Swiss lover
Everything organised by the Italians.


Mike Stone

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Sep 24, 2005, 5:39:04 PM9/24/05
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"Doug Wickstrom" <nims...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:4336c2f6.149924687@localhost...


> On Sat, 24 Sep 2005 10:33:20 -0700, in message
> <ddfr-4BAEE5.1...@news.isp.giganews.com>
> David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> caused electrons
> to dance and photons to travel coherently in saying:
>
> >On the other hand, I also have strong gut level feelings against people
> >pushing other people around, and the standard model of schooling
> >involves a very large amount of children doing things because adults
> >order them to do them. While I am happy to make arguments about why the
> >unschooling approach we follow is likely to work better than the
> >conventional model, especially (but not exclusively) for our kids, I
> >suspect an important part of hte motivation comes from those gut level
> >feelings. I don't want to send my kids to a place where other people
> >will be ordering them around all the time, and imposing on them those
> >people's decisions of what the kids should do and learn.
> >
> >Is that a religous motivation?
>
> Maybe.
>
> It's probably not a good idea, in the long run, to never expose
> children to situations in which they must obey orders, however
> arbitrary, and however seemingly nonsensical.
>
> Consider the traffic stop. Smile, be pleasant, do what you're
> told, and everything works out reasonably well, mostly. Argue,
> don't cooperate, disparage the officer's parentage and sexual
> habits, and you're likely to take a trip to the local lockup.
>

I'd have thought that school attendance was if anything more likely than
homeschooling to produce the latter reaction. I certainly can't think of any
setup better calculated to instil a lasting resentment of authority.

Sea Wasp

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Sep 24, 2005, 6:34:33 PM9/24/05
to
Paul Ciszek wrote:

> My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
> religious households make up 40% of anything.
>

Why?

--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/

David Friedman

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Sep 24, 2005, 6:49:51 PM9/24/05
to
In article <4336c2f6.149924687@localhost>,
Doug Wickstrom <nims...@comcast.net> wrote:

> On Sat, 24 Sep 2005 10:33:20 -0700, in message
> <ddfr-4BAEE5.1...@news.isp.giganews.com>
> David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> caused electrons
> to dance and photons to travel coherently in saying:
>
> >On the other hand, I also have strong gut level feelings against people
> >pushing other people around, and the standard model of schooling
> >involves a very large amount of children doing things because adults
> >order them to do them. While I am happy to make arguments about why the
> >unschooling approach we follow is likely to work better than the
> >conventional model, especially (but not exclusively) for our kids, I
> >suspect an important part of hte motivation comes from those gut level
> >feelings. I don't want to send my kids to a place where other people
> >will be ordering them around all the time, and imposing on them those
> >people's decisions of what the kids should do and learn.
> >
> >Is that a religous motivation?
>
> Maybe.
>
> It's probably not a good idea, in the long run, to never expose
> children to situations in which they must obey orders, however
> arbitrary, and however seemingly nonsensical.

That's all right--it probably isn't possible to never expose them to
such situations.

Most obviously, they are sometimes in other people's houses--visiting
their friends, when we are visiting grandparents, and the like. We long
ago made it clear to them that under those circumstances they were
normally obliged to go along with the local rules.

We then can, and sometimes do, discuss afterwards differing house rules
and possible reasons for them.

Andrew Stephenson

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Sep 24, 2005, 7:05:21 PM9/24/05
to
In article <dh4cjk$edb$1...@reader1.panix.com>
nan...@panix.com "Nancy Lebovitz" writes:

AFAICT it bears an uncanny ideological similarity to what Auric
Goldfinger says to James Bond who, tied to the saw table, tries
to blame a series of mischances for past encounters. Something
along the lines of: "Mr Bond, my Chicago friends have a saying:
once is an accident; twice is coincidence; three times is enemy
action." But maybe Messrs C & N did get there first. Could be
just a coincidence.
--
Andrew Stephenson

Zev Sero

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Sep 25, 2005, 4:43:24 AM9/25/05
to
Paul Ciszek wrote:

> Nancy Lebovitz <nan...@panix.com> wrote:

>> According to recent polls, nonreligious families now make up more
>> than 40% of the home-schooling market.

> My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
> religious households make up 40% of anything.

Huh? Why would that be?

--
Zev Sero Security and liberty are like beer and TV. They go
z...@sero.name well together, but are completely different concepts.
- James Lileks

Paul Ciszek

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Sep 25, 2005, 5:45:33 AM9/25/05
to

In article <4335D49...@obvioussgeinc.com>,

Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>Paul Ciszek wrote:
>
>> My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>> religious households make up 40% of anything.
>>
>
> Why?

Because atheists are so damn hard to find. Even among subsets of
the population that one would think would select in favor of it.
When even kinky poly lesbian anime fans have found God, where can
you turn?

Zev Sero

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Sep 25, 2005, 5:54:38 AM9/25/05
to
Paul Ciszek wrote:
> Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>>Paul Ciszek wrote:

>>>My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>>>religious households make up 40% of anything.

>> Why?

> Because atheists are so damn hard to find. Even among subsets of
> the population that one would think would select in favor of it.
> When even kinky poly lesbian anime fans have found God, where can
> you turn?

But have more than 60% of them done so?

It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
turned out to be non-religious.

Nancy Lebovitz

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Sep 25, 2005, 6:06:33 AM9/25/05
to
In article <dh5rjt$q7i$1...@reader1.panix.com>,

Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>
>In article <4335D49...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
>Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>>Paul Ciszek wrote:
>>
>>> My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>>> religious households make up 40% of anything.
>>>
>>
>> Why?
>
>Because atheists are so damn hard to find. Even among subsets of
>the population that one would think would select in favor of it.
>When even kinky poly lesbian anime fans have found God, where can
>you turn?

Non-religious is a much wider category than atheist. Non-religious
includes agnostic, don't care about religion, and probably "I have
my own sense of spirituality, but I'm not involved in any formal
religion".

Joel Rosenberg

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Sep 25, 2005, 8:26:17 AM9/25/05
to
Paul Ciszek wrote:
> In article <4335D49...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
> Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>
>>Paul Ciszek wrote:
>>
>>
>>>My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>>>religious households make up 40% of anything.
>>>
>>
>> Why?
>
>
> Because atheists are so damn hard to find. Even among subsets of
> the population that one would think would select in favor of it.
> When even kinky poly lesbian anime fans have found God, where can
> you turn?
>

Atheist <> non-religious, for most values of the latter. (My own take,
fwiw, is that atheism is a religious position, but that's another matter.)

Sea Wasp

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Sep 25, 2005, 11:35:51 AM9/25/05
to
Paul Ciszek wrote:
> In article <4335D49...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
> Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>
>>Paul Ciszek wrote:
>>
>>
>>>My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>>>religious households make up 40% of anything.
>>>
>>
>> Why?
>
>
> Because atheists are so damn hard to find.

Depends on the definition of "nonreligious". If it's "believes in
nothing but pure atheism and acts that way", yeah, probably. If it's
"may believe vaguely that there is a god, but doesn't have much effect
on their daily lives so that you can't tell", that's a lot bigger.

O'course, as others have pointed out, probably what they MEANT was
that 40% of those in homeschooling are doing so for nonreligious reasons.

(I'm not sure how you'd rate OUR family, as I'm agnostic and my
wife's catholic)

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 25, 2005, 2:09:38 PM9/25/05
to
Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:

> It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
> turned out to be non-religious.

I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
religion. The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the
children".
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:dd...@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>

Joe Ellis

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Sep 25, 2005, 3:54:17 PM9/25/05
to
In article <87fyrtu...@gw.dd-b.net>,
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

> Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:
>
> > It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
> > turned out to be non-religious.
>
> I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
> religion. The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the
> children".

I wasn't aware that fandom had an "atheist/agnostic" requirement. Fen
_do_ tend to examine their religious beliefs more closely, I believe,
and also tend to be less compliant to some central authority telling
them _exactly_ what to believe.

Granted, I had a rather distorted view of "neo-pagan" before getting
into fandom... but I got over that in a hurry.

Joel Rosenberg

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Sep 25, 2005, 3:59:32 PM9/25/05
to
Joe Ellis wrote:
> In article <87fyrtu...@gw.dd-b.net>,
> David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
>
>
>>Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:
>>
>>
>>>It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
>>>turned out to be non-religious.
>>
>>I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
>>acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
>>religion. The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the
>>children".
>
>
> I wasn't aware that fandom had an "atheist/agnostic" requirement.

It doesn't, of course. My own view, though, is that there are a far
larger proportions of atheists/agnostics in fandom than the studies show
there are in the general population, and a smaller proportion of people
who regularly engage in what I'll loosely term conventional religious
activities.

Kevin J. Maroney

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Sep 25, 2005, 5:03:16 PM9/25/05
to
On Sat, 24 Sep 2005 20:23:16 +0000 (UTC), nan...@panix.com (Nancy
Lebovitz) wrote:
>>Please reply to: | "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is
>>pciszek at panix dot com | indistinguishable from malice."
>>Autoreply is disabled | --Me, plagarizing Clarke and Napoleon
>
>Afaik, it was originated by Avedon Carol.

On 4 September 2005, Avedon posted this:

Mr. Sideshow [Rob Hansen] came in earlier and quoted to me a
permutation of Arthur C. Clarke's famous formulation that I'd never
heard before:

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
from malice.

Okay, I'm behind the times, but that's a good one, and it fits.

I'm fairly sure that Rob picked it up from rasff.

The oldest discussion of it that I can find on Google Groups archive
is from 1 May 2002 on news.admin.net-abuse.email:

<http://groups.google.com/group/news.admin.net-abuse.email/msg/f9f67dca7591a860?hl=en&>

Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from
malice.
--Vernon Schryver

The first instance I can find of it being perfect cast in terms of
Clarke's Third Law was "Big Bird", posting on alt.slack on 29 March
2004:

<http://groups.google.com/group/alt.slack/msg/e2bc123cac624943?hl=en&>

"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from
malice"

On April 8, 2004, Jim Deutch posted to rec.arts.books.tolkien a .sig
which used the pure Clarke phrasing, attributing it to Vernon
Schryver.
<http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.books.tolkien/msg/2f807dfddad4fad2?hl=en&>

Paul (Ciszek) was the first person to cast it as a cross between
Napoleon's dictum ("never attribute to malice...") and Clarke's Third
Law ("any sufficiently advanced..."), on 11 October 2004, here:

<http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.fandom/msg/4e2ea8c104c1162b?hl=en&>

The Napoleon-Clarke Law: Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is
indistinguishable from malice.

He glossed it a week later:
<http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.fandom/msg/5b4d9b061d905e0a?hl=en&>

Well, Napoleon said something about not attributing to malice that
which is adequately explained by incomptence, and Clarke said that
any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
magic. So far as I know, I am the first one to put them together
and call it the Napoleon-Clarke law.

So, the basic idea was coined by Vernon Schryver and given a name by
Paul Ciszek. The number of occurences of the "law" explodes after Paul
gave it name, so maybe he could be considered its midwife?

--
Kevin J. Maroney | k...@panix.com
Games are my entire waking life.

Zev Sero

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Sep 25, 2005, 6:08:23 PM9/25/05
to
David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
> Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:

>>It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
>>turned out to be non-religious.

> I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
> religion.

I'm the last one who would claim that religion and fandom are inherently
incompatible. There are lots of religious fans. But are you really
sure that their proportion is greater than 60%? I doubt it.

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 25, 2005, 7:03:12 PM9/25/05
to
Joe Ellis <synth...@sbcglobal.net> writes:

> In article <87fyrtu...@gw.dd-b.net>,
> David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
>
> > Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:
> >
> > > It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
> > > turned out to be non-religious.
> >
> > I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> > acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
> > religion. The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the
> > children".

My scoring system upscores more for a direct response to me than for a
normal level of personal downscoring, so this came to my attention.

> I wasn't aware that fandom had an "atheist/agnostic" requirement. Fen
> _do_ tend to examine their religious beliefs more closely, I believe,
> and also tend to be less compliant to some central authority telling
> them _exactly_ what to believe.

I do not suggest, or even wish, that fandom has/have an
"atheist/agnostic" requirement. It's my impression that it has
*tendencies* in that direction, but I keep finding that people who I
don't think of as religious have kept or restarted ties to a religion
that I hadn't previously known about. I was commenting on my noticing
that reality may be (not representative sample, etc.) may be less than
my previous impressions (which I think somewhat match a lot of other
people's general opinions).

> Granted, I had a rather distorted view of "neo-pagan" before getting
> into fandom... but I got over that in a hurry.

Yeah, one will learn about that in fandom if one doesn't resist really
strongly (perhaps to the level of denial).

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 25, 2005, 7:04:25 PM9/25/05
to
Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:

> David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
> > Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:
>
> >>It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
> >>turned out to be non-religious.
>
> > I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> > acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
> > religion.
>
> I'm the last one who would claim that religion and fandom are inherently
> incompatible. There are lots of religious fans. But are you really
> sure that their proportion is greater than 60%? I doubt it.

I, at least, am not really sure of anything about the religious makeup
of fandom. Well, of a few generalities -- significantly higher
proportion of atheists, agnostics, and pagans than the general US
population. And I don't have evidence for even *that*.

Paul Ciszek

unread,
Sep 25, 2005, 7:45:24 PM9/25/05
to

In article <ytuZe.2849$zQ3....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net>,

Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> wrote:
>Paul Ciszek wrote:
>> Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>>>Paul Ciszek wrote:
>
>>>>My ladyfriend just pointed out that it's hard to believe that non-
>>>>religious households make up 40% of anything.
>
>>> Why?
>
>> Because atheists are so damn hard to find. Even among subsets of
>> the population that one would think would select in favor of it.
>> When even kinky poly lesbian anime fans have found God, where can
>> you turn?
>
>But have more than 60% of them done so?
>
>It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
>turned out to be non-religious.

That is what I would have expected to find. I got into fandom
hoping to meet women who were not religious; lukewarm Methodist
is the closest I've seen so far.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Sep 25, 2005, 7:50:32 PM9/25/05
to
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
> I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted
> ties to some religion.

I'm surprised at the very existence of religion. It never made
any sense to me.

> The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the children".

That makes even less sense. A religion is either true or false.
If it's true, you should believe it and behave according to its
rules whether you have children or not. If it's false, teaching
your children a false religion isn't doing them any favors.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.

Joe Ellis

unread,
Sep 25, 2005, 10:06:29 PM9/25/05
to
In article <87vf0os...@gw.dd-b.net>,
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

> Joe Ellis <synth...@sbcglobal.net> writes:
>
> > In article <87fyrtu...@gw.dd-b.net>,
> > David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

> My scoring system upscores more for a direct response to me than for a
> normal level of personal downscoring, so this came to my attention.

Ah... so, as I thought, a <plonk> from you means exactly nothing.

David Friedman

unread,
Sep 25, 2005, 11:47:59 PM9/25/05
to
In article <4336C3F8...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:

> Depends on the definition of "nonreligious". If it's "believes in
> nothing but pure atheism and acts that way", yeah, probably. If it's
> "may believe vaguely that there is a god, but doesn't have much effect
> on their daily lives so that you can't tell", that's a lot bigger.
>

I like Orwell's criterion: How many people believe in Heaven the way
they believe in Australia?

Applied, in his case, to the British.

David Friedman

unread,
Sep 25, 2005, 11:49:47 PM9/25/05
to
In article <87fyrtu...@gw.dd-b.net>,
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

> Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> writes:
>
> > It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
> > turned out to be non-religious.
>
> I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
> religion. The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the
> children".

I discussed that question with my parents years ago. They raised the
question of whether they ought to have brought me up more nearly in the
religion they were brought up in--Judaism--despite neither of them
believing in it.

My response was that I was happy that they brought me up in the religion
they did believe in--roughly speaking, 18th century rationalism.

David Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 1:06:44 AM9/26/05
to
"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> writes:

> David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
> > I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> > acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted
> > ties to some religion.
>
> I'm surprised at the very existence of religion. It never made
> any sense to me.

Oh, that too of course.

> > The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the children".
>
> That makes even less sense. A religion is either true or false.
> If it's true, you should believe it and behave according to its
> rules whether you have children or not. If it's false, teaching
> your children a false religion isn't doing them any favors.

There may be benefits to membership in a religous congregation beyond
the doctrine and dogma. In fact there nearly have to be, since over a
moderately broad range the success of a religion doesn't seem to
correlate with the dogma or doctrine very well.

David Friedman

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 4:07:34 AM9/26/05
to
In article <87zmq0q...@gw.dd-b.net>,
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

> "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> writes:
>
> > David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
> > > I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
> > > acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted
> > > ties to some religion.
> >
> > I'm surprised at the very existence of religion. It never made
> > any sense to me.
>
> Oh, that too of course.
>
> > > The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the children".
> >
> > That makes even less sense. A religion is either true or false.
> > If it's true, you should believe it and behave according to its
> > rules whether you have children or not. If it's false, teaching
> > your children a false religion isn't doing them any favors.
>
> There may be benefits to membership in a religous congregation beyond
> the doctrine and dogma. In fact there nearly have to be, since over a
> moderately broad range the success of a religion doesn't seem to
> correlate with the dogma or doctrine very well.

Also, Keith seems to be assuming that it is never in one's interest to
believe things that aren't true. That's a tempting doctrine, but I don't
think one can show that it is true in general.

Kip Williams

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:54:28 AM9/26/05
to
David Friedman wrote:

I like the anecdote of the man who was asked if he believed in infant
baptism. "Good Lord, yes," he said, "I've -seen- it!"

Kip W

joy beeson

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 9:26:09 AM9/26/05
to
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 10:06:33 +0000 (UTC), nan...@panix.com
(Nancy Lebovitz) wrote:

> Non-religious is a much wider category than atheist. Non-religious
> includes agnostic, don't care about religion, and probably "I have
> my own sense of spirituality, but I'm not involved in any formal
> religion".

Not to mention that real atheists (as opposed to
anti-theists) often aren't sufficiently interested to
assert their atheism, and when asked are likely to put down
a shorthand for the culture they were brought up in.

Even an anti-theist might, under some circumstances,
home-school for religious reasons.

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at earthlink dot net


Alan Braggins

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 10:01:48 AM9/26/05
to
David Friedman wrote:
>
>Also, Keith seems to be assuming that it is never in one's interest to
>believe things that aren't true. That's a tempting doctrine, but I don't
>think one can show that it is true in general.

I don't think it is true in general. If you are given a placebo, it's only
likely to have a beneficial effect if you believe it's something other
than a placebo. Having said that, I've just read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo_effect#Does_the_placebo_effect_exist
so maybe that's not a counterexample after all.

In an environment where not believing in something can get you burnt as
a heretic, actually believing in it might be easier than faking belief.

Brian Henderson

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 12:24:45 PM9/26/05
to
On 25 Sep 2005 13:09:38 -0500, David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net>
wrote:

>I am continually surprised to discover fannish friends and
>acquaintances who apparently have maintained or restarted ties to some
>religion. The one that bugs me most is those doing it "for the
>children".

You have to remember that just because people claim to have some ties
to religion doesn't mean they do. There are an awful lot of people
out there who I term "social Christians". They only claim to be
religious because they think it makes them look good to the neighbors.
Beyond that, they have no clue what their professed religion teaches,
do not attend church, and frankly, if you compared them to anyone else
who was non-religious, you couldn't tell the difference.

Brian Henderson

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 12:29:27 PM9/26/05
to
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 12:26:17 GMT, Joel Rosenberg <jo...@ellegon.com>
wrote:

>Atheist <> non-religious, for most values of the latter. (My own take,
>fwiw, is that atheism is a religious position, but that's another matter.)

Which, of course, is wrong. Atheism is the LACK of religious belief.
It is not the belief that god(s) do not exist, it is simply the lack
of belief therein. Certainly, there are those who assert, without
evidence, that there are no god(s), but they are just as religious as
those who claim that there are.

Andy Shepard

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 2:27:09 PM9/26/05
to

To what extent is religious belief actually subject to conscious choice?
I, for one, could no more choose to believe in god than I could choose
to believe I have three heads.

--
Andy Shepard |
andy+...@andyshepard.org |
http://www.andyshepard.org/ | http://www.livejournal.com/users/vox_soli/

trin...@hotmail.com

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 5:57:20 PM9/26/05
to
I pondered home schooling at one point: but it had more to do with the
lack of quality at the neighborhood school, and their inability to make
accomadations for a chronically ill child....

I wonder how the remaining 60% of home schoolers are doing so because
of concerns for the quality of the local school, how many for disabled
children who are being ignored or brushed off by the local school, and
how many for their remote location.

Rob Hansen

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 6:18:05 PM9/26/05
to
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 17:03:16 -0400, Kevin J. Maroney <k...@panix.com>
wrote:

>On Sat, 24 Sep 2005 20:23:16 +0000 (UTC), nan...@panix.com (Nancy
>Lebovitz) wrote:
>>>Please reply to: | "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is
>>>pciszek at panix dot com | indistinguishable from malice."
>>>Autoreply is disabled | --Me, plagarizing Clarke and Napoleon
>>
>>Afaik, it was originated by Avedon Carol.
>
>On 4 September 2005, Avedon posted this:
>
> Mr. Sideshow [Rob Hansen] came in earlier and quoted to me a
> permutation of Arthur C. Clarke's famous formulation that I'd never
> heard before:
>
> Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
> from malice.
>
> Okay, I'm behind the times, but that's a good one, and it fits.
>
>I'm fairly sure that Rob picked it up from rasff.

Yep, and after doing a websearch a day or so later, Avedon wrote that
it had been coined by either Schryver or Paul Ciszek, as you note.

<snip>

>So, the basic idea was coined by Vernon Schryver and given a name by
>Paul Ciszek. The number of occurences of the "law" explodes after Paul
>gave it name, so maybe he could be considered its midwife?

Actually, it also exploded after Avedon mentioned it on her blog, it
started popping up all over the place, and most of the referrals were
back to her blog. In fact, she got this really huge spike in traffic
as a result, which is what sent her back to websearch the source and
to write a bit on what appeared to be its origins. This greatly amused
us both since it was something I casually mentioned to her in passing
because it had made me chuckle.
--
Rob Hansen
www.fiawol.demon.co.uk

Wilson Heydt

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 6:30:30 PM9/26/05
to
In article <JHwZe.56333$32....@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com>,

A perfectly reasonable position to take...


What do yoou make of my postiion on the subject? I have seen no
acceptable proof of the existience of the supernatural, but I cannot
prove non-existence. Available evidence points to non-existence of
god or gods, however (in the sense that lack of proof in light of
extensive efforts to provide proof has failed to do so). As a
result, I tend to describe myself as "agnostic with athiest
leanings."

--
Hal Heydt
Albany, CA

My dime, my opinions.

David Friedman

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:20:35 PM9/26/05
to
In article <InG3u...@kithrup.com>, whh...@kithrup.com (Wilson Heydt)
wrote:

Your position is similar to mine, and I describe myself as an atheist.

According to a friend who wrote a book on atheism, the original meaning
was "not believing in a god" not "believing in the nonexistence of a
god."

David Friedman

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:21:49 PM9/26/05
to
In article <slrndjgfbt.rp...@charon.andyshepard.org>,
Andy Shepard <andy+...@andyshepard.org> wrote:

> In <slrndjfvq...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>, Alan Braggins
> <ar...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> > David Friedman wrote:
> >>
> >>Also, Keith seems to be assuming that it is never in one's interest to
> >>believe things that aren't true. That's a tempting doctrine, but I don't
> >>think one can show that it is true in general.
> >
> > I don't think it is true in general. If you are given a placebo, it's only
> > likely to have a beneficial effect if you believe it's something other
> > than a placebo. Having said that, I've just read
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo_effect#Does_the_placebo_effect_exist
> > so maybe that's not a counterexample after all.
> >
> > In an environment where not believing in something can get you burnt as
> > a heretic, actually believing in it might be easier than faking belief.
>
> To what extent is religious belief actually subject to conscious choice?
> I, for one, could no more choose to believe in god than I could choose
> to believe I have three heads.

This came out of the question of whether it made sense for parents to
teach their children religious beliefs the parents didn't believe in.
That might be difficult, but I don't think it is obviously impossible.

Joel Rosenberg

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:50:15 PM9/26/05
to

What you're describing is what I'd call agnosticism. (There's really
two flavors, at least: one is that the existence/nature of a diety or
dieties is unknowable; the other is that the existence/nature of a diety
or dieties is unknown by the individual.) I'm of the second sort -- and
in fact, I'm an agnostic Jew. (Never met this God-guy, far as I know;
I've met quite a few Jews.)

I don't mind if you define it differently -- that it should matter if I
did -- but when I'm pointing to the thing I call "atheism", I'm pointing
to the belief that no diety or dieties exist, rather than a lack of
belief that a diety or dieties exit.

David Bilek

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:51:30 PM9/26/05
to

Yes, I utterly reject the notion that my lack of belief in any of
Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, God, or the Great Pumpkin constitutes a
religious belief.

-David

Dave Weingart

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:56:08 PM9/26/05
to
One day in Teletubbyland, Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> said:
>> Because atheists are so damn hard to find. Even among subsets of
>> the population that one would think would select in favor of it.
>> When even kinky poly lesbian anime fans have found God, where can
>> you turn?
>
>But have more than 60% of them done so?
>
>It wouldn't surprise me at all if 40% or more of fannish households
>turned out to be non-religious.

Nonreligious != atheist, of course.

--
73 de Dave Weingart KA2ESK Girando e girando, cascando e cascando
mailto:phyd...@liii.com Nel mondo delle elfi sognando
http://www.weingart.net/
ICQ 57055207

Joel Rosenberg

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 7:59:16 PM9/26/05
to

Well, since you asked: I think it's an utterly reasonable position. I
would, though, since I'd probably express my own position similarly,
although with a bit more emphasis on how slight my atheist leanings are.
(I'm tempted, often, by Mark Twain's suggestion is that the evidence
suggests that if God exists, He's a malign thug.)

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 8:29:51 PM9/26/05
to
David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote:

> Andy Shepard <andy+...@andyshepard.org> wrote:
>> To what extent is religious belief actually subject to conscious
>> choice? I, for one, could no more choose to believe in god than I
>> could choose to believe I have three heads.

Ook.

> This came out of the question of whether it made sense for parents
> to teach their children religious beliefs the parents didn't believe
> in. That might be difficult, but I don't think it is obviously
> impossible.

It's not only possible, it's very nearly obligatory in places where
there are severe penalties for not believing in the approved religion.
You can't be sure your young children won't accidentally blurt out
that you don't bow down before the statue of Zarquon, or whatever.
Or that your slightly older children won't turn you in as a heretic,
having absorbed the religion from their peers. The only safe thing
is to pretend you believe, and never let your children learn otherwise.
But then your children probably really will believe.

This is probably how most religions spread.

Michael J. Lowrey

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 9:04:16 PM9/26/05
to
Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> wrote:

> I'm the last one who would claim that religion and fandom are inherently
> incompatible. There are lots of religious fans. But are you really
> sure that their proportion is greater than 60%? I doubt it.

I honestly don't know. I sometimes get the impression that our
agnostics and atheists are more outspoken than those in mundane
society, and therefore give an impression of being a larger percentage
than is in fact the case.

--
Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

Michael J. Lowrey

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 10:38:58 PM9/26/05
to
Brian Henderson <BrianL.H...@NOSPAM.verizon.net> wrote:

> There are an awful lot of people
> out there who I term "social Christians". They only claim to be
> religious because they think it makes them look good to the neighbors.
> Beyond that, they have no clue what their professed religion teaches,
> do not attend church, and frankly, if you compared them to anyone else
> who was non-religious, you couldn't tell the difference.

A question I've seen in some discussions among Christians about whether
we are truly living and practicing our faith is, "If you were accused
in a court of law of being a practicing Christian, would there be
enough evidence to convict you?"

Kevin J. Maroney

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 10:47:35 PM9/26/05
to
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 23:18:05 +0100, Rob Hansen
<r...@fiawol.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Yep, and after doing a websearch a day or so later, Avedon wrote that
>it had been coined by either Schryver or Paul Ciszek, as you note.

I missed Avedon crediting it to Vernon Schryver, though I did remember
her creditting it to Paul.

Ah, I see her post now.
<http://sideshow.me.uk/ssep05.htm#09052224>

Google Groupsing on '"advanced incompetence" "Vernon Schryver"' would
have solved it right away, but that comes dangerously close to a "you
could have found it in 1.28 seconds on Google" comment.

--
Kevin J. Maroney | k...@panix.com
Games are my entire waking life.

Kevin J. Maroney

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 10:49:10 PM9/26/05
to
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 22:30:30 GMT, whh...@kithrup.com (Wilson Heydt)
wrote:

>>Atheist <> non-religious, for most values of the latter. (My own take,
>>fwiw, is that atheism is a religious position, but that's another matter.)
>
>A perfectly reasonable position to take...

I know that "atheism" is not "a" religious position, since it is a
term that encompasses several different positions.

Moving past the indefinite article, I'm pretty firm the conclusion
that atheisms are also not necessarily "religious" positions, though I
believe that there are people for whom they are. A non-religious
atheism is possible in precisely the way that a non-religious lack of
belief in unicorns is possible: disbelief in an extraordinary claim
through lack of extraordinary evidence. An active certainty in the
absence of any god or Gods seems to me necessarily a religious belief,
but that is far from the only atheism.

I am certain that "atheism" is not "a religion", which is what many
people mean when they assert that atheism is "a religious belief".

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 10:55:21 PM9/26/05
to
Michael J. Lowrey <ora...@execpc.com> wrote:
> A question I've seen in some discussions among Christians about
> whether we are truly living and practicing our faith is, "If you
> were accused in a court of law of being a practicing Christian,
> would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

Well, I've been seen at several church services (mostly weddings and
funerals). A thorough search of my apartment will find a Bible, a
Catholic Catechism, and a Book of Mormon. So by the usual standards
of evidence, no matter how strongly I maintain my innocence of that
charge, I haven't a prayer.

Zev Sero

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 11:40:51 PM9/26/05
to
Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote:

>>This came out of the question of whether it made sense for parents
>>to teach their children religious beliefs the parents didn't believe
>>in. That might be difficult, but I don't think it is obviously
>>impossible.

> It's not only possible, it's very nearly obligatory in places where
> there are severe penalties for not believing in the approved religion.
> You can't be sure your young children won't accidentally blurt out
> that you don't bow down before the statue of Zarquon, or whatever.
> Or that your slightly older children won't turn you in as a heretic,
> having absorbed the religion from their peers. The only safe thing
> is to pretend you believe, and never let your children learn otherwise.

On the other hand, I can cite many counterexamples.

--
Zev Sero Security and liberty are like beer and TV. They go
z...@sero.name well together, but are completely different concepts.
- James Lileks

Mark Atwood

unread,
Sep 26, 2005, 11:54:05 PM9/26/05
to
"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> writes:
>
> It's not only possible, it's very nearly obligatory in places where
> there are severe penalties for not believing in the approved religion.
> You can't be sure your young children won't accidentally blurt out
> that you don't bow down before the statue of Zarquon, or whatever.
> Or that your slightly older children won't turn you in as a heretic,
> having absorbed the religion from their peers. The only safe thing
> is to pretend you believe, and never let your children learn otherwise.
> But then your children probably really will believe.
>
> This is probably how most religions spread.

Islam explicitly uses this model. Coupled with it's structures for
reinforcing secular political power, and it's the Ebola+HIV of
proselytizing religions.

--
Mark Atwood When you do things right, people won't be sure
m...@mark.atwood.name you've done anything at all.
http://mark.atwood.name/ http://www.livejournal.com/users/fallenpegasus

Doug Wickstrom

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 12:48:08 AM9/27/05
to
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 23:50:15 GMT, in message
<XO%Ze.94813$3S5....@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com>
Joel Rosenberg <jo...@ellegon.com> caused electrons to dance and
photons to travel coherently in saying:

>What you're describing is what I'd call agnosticism. (There's really
>two flavors, at least: one is that the existence/nature of a diety or
>dieties is unknowable; the other is that the existence/nature of a diety
>or dieties is unknown by the individual.) I'm of the second sort -- and
>in fact, I'm an agnostic Jew. (Never met this God-guy, far as I know;
>I've met quite a few Jews.)
>
>I don't mind if you define it differently -- that it should matter if I
>did -- but when I'm pointing to the thing I call "atheism", I'm pointing
>to the belief that no diety or dieties exist, rather than a lack of
>belief that a diety or dieties exit.

So what kind of diety does a deity practice?

--
Doug Wickstrom <nims...@comcast.net>

"The president has kept all of the promises he intended to keep."
--George Stephanopoulos

Now filtering out all cross-posted messages and everything posted
through Google News.


Damien Neil

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 3:06:48 AM9/27/05
to
joy beeson <xbe...@invalid.net.invalid> wrote:
> (Nancy Lebovitz) wrote:
>
> > Non-religious is a much wider category than atheist. Non-religious
> > includes agnostic, don't care about religion, and probably "I have
> > my own sense of spirituality, but I'm not involved in any formal
> > religion".
>
> Not to mention that real atheists (as opposed to
> anti-theists) often aren't sufficiently interested to
> assert their atheism, and when asked are likely to put down
> a shorthand for the culture they were brought up in.

I describe myself as an atheist if asked, but don't find it useful to
bring it up in most circumstances. (I recognize that my bringing it up
now may put the lie to that!)

I place any and all gods in the same bucket as Santa Claus.

- Damien

David Goldfarb

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 4:33:13 AM9/27/05
to
In article <ddfr-F2968B.1...@news.isp.giganews.com>,

David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote:
>In article <InG3u...@kithrup.com>, whh...@kithrup.com (Wilson Heydt)
>wrote:
>> What do yoou make of my postiion on the subject? I have seen no
>> acceptable proof of the existience of the supernatural, but I cannot
>> prove non-existence. Available evidence points to non-existence of
>> god or gods, however (in the sense that lack of proof in light of
>> extensive efforts to provide proof has failed to do so). As a
>> result, I tend to describe myself as "agnostic with athiest
>> leanings."
>
>Your position is similar to mine, and I describe myself as an atheist.

Likewise on both counts.

(With one exception: The god of people like Jerry Falwell, Fred Phelps,
and Osama bin Laden -- I have faith that the universe is not run by
that malign thug.)

--
David Goldfarb |"Atheists view their theist friends with
gold...@ocf.berkeley.edu | much the same feeling as nonsmokers do
gold...@csua.berkeley.edu | their smoking friends."
| -- David R. Henry, on rec.arts.comics.xbooks

Doug Wickstrom

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 5:14:58 AM9/27/05
to
On Tue, 27 Sep 2005 00:06:48 -0700, in message
<neild-usenet4-4F4...@news.newsguy.com>
Damien Neil <neild-...@misago.org> caused electrons to dance

and photons to travel coherently in saying:

>I place any and all gods in the same bucket as Santa Claus.

Hmm. I have it on Very Good Authority that Santa Claus is as
real as I am.

OTOH, I've never met you.

Nancy Lebovitz

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 7:18:46 AM9/27/05
to
In article <m2fyrr2...@amsu.fallenpegasus.com>,

Mark Atwood <m...@mark.atwood.name> wrote:
>"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> writes:
>>
>> It's not only possible, it's very nearly obligatory in places where
>> there are severe penalties for not believing in the approved religion.
>> You can't be sure your young children won't accidentally blurt out
>> that you don't bow down before the statue of Zarquon, or whatever.
>> Or that your slightly older children won't turn you in as a heretic,
>> having absorbed the religion from their peers. The only safe thing
>> is to pretend you believe, and never let your children learn otherwise.
>> But then your children probably really will believe.
>>
>> This is probably how most religions spread.
>
>Islam explicitly uses this model. Coupled with it's structures for
>reinforcing secular political power, and it's the Ebola+HIV of
>proselytizing religions.
>
I see religions as being in a long memetic war, with religions choosing
different specializations. It's something like Cosmic Encounter.

It's important to remember that *any* long-lived religion is going to
be damned tough. I've been wondering whether the Jewish strategy of hunkering
down (not proselytizing, but (at least at the Orthodox end) working very
hard to make sure members stay) is good enough, but I'm not making any
predictions.

You may be right about Islam. The piece I'm interested in is why people
convert to it voluntarily, even in places like the US, where there are
disadvantages for doing so.

A few years ago, I heard from Unitarians that they were considering
getting into proselytizing on the grounds that there are people who'd
like to be Unitarians if they knew what it was. I don't know whether
anything has come of it.

--
Nancy Lebovitz http://www.nancybuttons.com
http://livejournal.com/users/nancylebov

My two favorite colors are "Oooooh" and "SHINY!".

Nancy Lebovitz

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 7:24:41 AM9/27/05
to
In article <433b0d68.365590515@localhost>,

A slight sidetrack: The Flying Spaghetti Monster seems to be showing
some staying power. http://www.venganza.org/

It seems to be getting much more traction than the invisible pink
unicorns ever had. The FSM has some 600,000 google hits as compared
to a measly 32,000 for the ipu.

Kip Williams

unread,
Sep 27, 2005, 7:43:08 AM9/27/05
to
Doug Wickstrom wrote:

> On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 23:50:15 GMT, in message
> <XO%Ze.94813$3S5....@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com>
> Joel Rosenberg <jo...@ellegon.com> caused electrons to dance and
> photons to travel coherently in saying:
>

>>I don't mind if you define it differently -- that it should matter if I
>>did -- but when I'm pointing to the thing I call "atheism", I'm pointing
>>to the belief that no diety or dieties exist, rather than a lack of
>>belief that a diety or dieties exit.
>
> So what kind of diety does a deity practice?

To quote myself, it drinks Diety Coke.

Kip W

</