Do you believe in God?

Imnotgoing Sideways

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LOL. Related to this, that story is likely not true. The student who is thought to have been asked actually survived.
At best, the account came from someone who didn't see anyone but assumed the voice sounded like someone they might recognize. (-_-)

At best, a bad distraction from a horrible tragedy. (._.)
 

Brenda Archer

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The religious nutters who ended up in new england because they got squeezed out of Europe... kept getting squeezed west (the bible belt was west when they started the squeezing), like later on how the proto-mormons split into a relatively laid-back community in idaho (if I recall correctly) and the real nutters in utah.

The bible belt is the super fertile land along the ancient seashore that ended up growing slave-owning religious nutters.
Sorry to nitpick. The laid-back people are in the Midwest. Idaho is about like Utah. The Mormons in the Far West both had the authoritarian Young followers and an infusion of Southerners who were conservative as leaders.

I’m convinced the real dividing line in American religion is slavery. The evangelical and Baptist denominations currently forming the Republican base are part of a cultural constellation that is centered in the South. Churches in the South changed their teachings to accommodate slavery and authoritarianism, and to demonize outsiders such as Catholics and Mormons. This creates a deep difference between the fundagelicals and mainline or liberal Protestants.

The mainline churches are losing members, and the fundies are gaining some by presenting a pop religion with little theological consistency. Fundagelical religion can be very superficial.

There are exceptions to this rule, like socially liberal Mormons in Salt Lake City and social conservatives in the Black churches, but overall the pattern is for a fundagelical culture that’s pretty much the descendant of the Confederacy, even though migration has carried it to other places over time.

It’s hard to describe it until you see it - if I had to predict a common denominator that predicts who will stick to a fundagelical church, I’d look for an acceptance of cruelty in child rearing and from authority figures. This tracks with the hierarchy of human value that the slave owning religions endorsed, while the abolitionist religions became today’s social liberals.

I’m painting with a broad brush here, but this matches what I’ve seen on the ground as I moved around the country.

Chrissy Stroop on Twitter started the #Exvangelical tag and they go into a lot of detail on how the hardcore part of this culture works.
 

GoblinCampFollower

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There are exceptions to this rule, like socially liberal Mormons in Salt Lake City and social conservatives in the Black churches, but overall the pattern is for a fundagelical culture that’s pretty much the descendant of the Confederacy, even though migration has carried it to other places over time.
I wanted to add to your fine post that one of the strongest predictors of how progressive a region will be in any country or any time period is population density. It's no coincidence that there are so many socially liberal Mormons in Salt Like City. Also, Trumpsters just LOVE to point to that map of places Trump won by country, because it creates the illusion that Trump has the whole country, since Hilary voters are clustered together in cities. The rural Northern counties are far more red than southern bible belt cities.

This also seems to be true everywhere else. Moscow is easily the safest place to be gay in Russia for example. I've also heard the theory that the old testament sexual morality was mostly written by rural Hebrews who were grossed out by the kinky shit the Babylonian city slickers were doing.

It is also my understanding that conservative parties in Europe are strongest in the rural areas between the big cities.
 

Ishina

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I believe all things exist, only a matter of when and where. So; a universe exactly like ours but was designed by the Christian god? Yup! It exists. A universe exactly like ours but it came from nowhere though years of evolutionary processes? That one exists too.
How can two things with radical differences be exactly the same? It seems like an abuse of language.
 

Clara D.

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How can two things with radical differences be exactly the same? It seems like an abuse of language.
Alternate universes/timelines.
 

Ishina

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Alternate universes/timelines.
That seems like an answer to a different question. Alternative universe/timelines with radical fundamental differences are not exactly the same as each other.
 

Argent Stonecutter

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Quantum handwaving. It's the random mystical excuse all the cool kids are using these days.
 

Adeon Writer

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The point is if two possible histories are indistinguishable in the present, they are both equally true and equally irrelevant.

Last Thursdayism *could* be true, as it perfectly describes the present state of the universe, but since it’s indistinguishable from it being false, it’s irrelevant.
 

Galen McGinnis

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Who?

That was curt.

I rather believe more that a time lord from Gallifrey will materialize behind me and whisk me off on an adventure, than someday meeting this sky fairy that some seem so into.
 

Ishina

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The point is if two possible histories are indistinguishable in the present, they are both equally true and equally irrelevant.

Last Thursdayism *could* be true, as it perfectly describes the present state of the universe, but since it’s indistinguishable from it being false, it’s irrelevant.
Ah, right.

I suppose my objection to that would be several other characteristics of the Christian god, besides its ability to create the universe last Thursday, are not compatible with the present state of the universe. But that's a whole different argument.