"Parochialism on display" at PS?

I’d say there are quite a few of those around the world. I know it’s impossible to be objective enough to put oneself into an alternative view about the world but the parochialism on display sometimes astonishes me. Has anyone tried imagining themselves as a newly arrived alien researcher from the planet Zorg and conducting interviews with various Earthlings regarding beliefs?

ETA enough not nougat. Alien spellcheck mode!

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Alan, within this thread I assume that I’m speaking to a fellow Christian. The background assumptions and tone are of course very different compared to if I were speaking to someone who were not a Christian. Some threads on PS are going to be a de facto Christian space, while others are a more general space, a scientific space, a physicist space, a biblical scholar space, and in my view there’s nothing wrong with this diversity of spaces. This goes back to the “multiple rooms” options that we were discussing earlier.


Sure, I understand the site is primarily for the benefit of US Evangelicals. I still recommend the exercise to anyone who wishes to broaden their outlook and lose some of the baggage of dogma.

Both sides of the debate have their own dogmas. The question more properly is, which set of dogmas is better fit by the overall scope of evidence, including God’s supernatural revelation in the Bible?

That’s not what I said, and I don’t think this statement is true, and @swamidass would probably agree with me. Rather, I’m saying that that particular thread is for the benefit of its participants, which are most likely to be people coming from such a background. We have tons of threads which assume a completely different background.

I think if you’ve been following my other posts on this forum that I have a pretty broad outlook and don’t automatically dismiss everything that doesn’t conform to a certain narrow set of dogma.


I describe myself as an apatheist but I was not thinking of atheism particularly when mentioning parochialism. US Evangelicals are a large and influential group of people within the US. Sometimes it seems they overlook and ignore other cultures and beliefs. But I’m just thinking out loud. Whilst I’m not persuaded to any religious view myself, I don’t object to others having one.

Well, I hear what you say! :wink:

I actually think Peaceful Science is a great forum. And contra Groucho Marx, I’m pleased to be a member.


While you’re absolutely right in pointing out that there’s a lot of diversity in Christianity and other religions (or non-religion) outside of US Evangelical culture, I do have to remind you that I’m not American myself. I don’t think we would likely be debating the same topic (I think debates over origins are overly prominent in US evangelical culture), but the background beliefs I assumed in that thread would also be mostly the same in the Indonesian churches that my family is a part of back home.

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Is it? We don’t start with a green field. That’s why I was suggesting trying to imagine the green field, the blank slate. What’s important?

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Sorry I’m not familiar with all Discus’ bells and whistles. I think there is a way to invite other members to a thread that might interest them. is it @thoughtful? There seems to be overlap in an exchange in another thread.

As in, you don’t care whether God exists? This makes even less sense than somebody actively rejecting God because they don’t want God. God is probably the last thing in the whole universe you would want to be apathetic about.

I’m sorry. I don’t understand what question you’re asking here.

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PS is not just for the US or for evangelicals.

@AlanFox please do start threads that engage international and non-evangelical topics and perspectives you care about.


Not in the sense of not caring. I’m fully convinced and have been for all my adult life that all religion is human invention. What I don’t care about is whether others believe and what they believe. Live and let live is my dogma.

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If so, it’s a nearly universal one. What makes you immune to this human trait?

Thanks, Joshua. I still need to get my act together on genetic drift. And I have some concrete to mix and lay!

First let me tell you of Fox’s conjecture. I quote myself:

No sentient organism is intelligent enough to understand any system or process more complex than itself.

So whilst I can speculate, I don’t think I can convince myself that I’m right. Religion isn’t really about facts; it’s about emotion. Maybe I lack that emotional element that is the key to desiring some religious life or belief.

Well I think you must first be corrected: believing that all religions are wrong and that there is no God, is in itself a kind of religious belief. Nobody can really exist in a total religious vacuum.

But basically you seem to be saying that humanity in general has an emotional need to feel a significance for their life, and to seek ultimate answers to moral and spiritual questions. Yet, you feel you lack this basic quality. Is that correct?


I think gods are all the product of human invention because humans have a tendency, perhaps innate or partly so, to explain their existence by resorting to the supernatural. We all do, in fact, exist in a world without gods. Total god vacuum, not total religious vacuum.

And don’t forget how useful religion has been in keeping order. Maybe the fact that hominids were and are social was the key element in development of the various religious establishments. Organised religion can give you a great social life.

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