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Old 02-20-2009, 08:39 PM
 
4,512 posts, read 4,510,034 times
Reputation: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefly View Post
Well, religions are only expanding in poor countries and shrinking in developed, educated countries. The poorer the population, the more religious it is.

My hypothesis is that the U.S. had an extraordinary amount of wealth that built a relatively wealthy middle class from a relatively undereducated population in a relatively short time and in a relatively brutal way. In most countries, a lot more education is required to reach the level of wealth secured in the U.S.
what is education (worth) today?

hope you can appreciate my daring completion of your hypothesis.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,089 posts, read 8,068,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefly View Post
Well, religions are only expanding in poor countries and shrinking in developed, educated countries. The poorer the population, the more religious it is.

My hypothesis is that the U.S. had an extraordinary amount of wealth that built a relatively wealthy middle class from a relatively undereducated population. In most countries, a lot more education is required to reach the level of wealth secured in the U.S.
This is a truly complex issue, yes...there are those missionaries who come into an underdeveloped area, open a church and feed the poor, as long as they bring something to donate to the church, preachers who take the artwork and culture away from the people. There are others who also preach, but run large farms, teach modern agricultural practices, feed their converts, educate their converts, found makeshift machine shops to create a variety of prosthetic devices for people with various missing limbs or other deformities. I've seen both during my time in W. Africa, and C. and S. America as well, it seems that there are really only two types, the con men and the saints, the con men try to convince other that they are saints, the saints downplay their roles and play up the courage of the natives.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Nanaimo, Canada
981 posts, read 692,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Rhodes View Post
it seems that there are really only two types, the con men and the saints, the con men try to convince other that they are saints, the saints downplay their roles and play up the courage of the natives.
In keeping with the OP's comments about affluence vs. religion, I dredged up a quote from the pile of Star Trek DVDs I have sitting around:

Quote:
It's easy to be a saint in paradise
It's all too easy to put ourselves on a pedestal and consider ourselves untouchable.

Those are the 'con men', the 'false prophets' that we so despise -- the ones that show themselves off and claim to be 'good folk' who are 'doing good things', but are really very little 'go' and a whole lot of 'show'.

Meanwhile, they take credit for the work of the largely-ignored 'saints' -- those who struggle and strain and earn their spot in Paradise, and don't expect anything from it but a good, hot meal and a warm bed at night.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:44 AM
 
Location: LAT: 40.77 LON: 73.98
604 posts, read 673,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredNotBob View Post
In keeping with the OP's comments about affluence vs. religion, I dredged up a quote from the pile of Star Trek DVDs I have sitting around:



It's all too easy to put ourselves on a pedestal and consider ourselves untouchable.

Those are the 'con men', the 'false prophets' that we so despise -- the ones that show themselves off and claim to be 'good folk' who are 'doing good things', but are really very little 'go' and a whole lot of 'show'.

Meanwhile, they take credit for the work of the largely-ignored 'saints' -- those who struggle and strain and earn their spot in Paradise, and don't expect anything from it but a good, hot meal and a warm bed at night.
I LOVE that Star Trek quote you provided up top. All around great reply.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:23 AM
 
4,710 posts, read 3,725,117 times
Reputation: 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Rhodes View Post
This is a truly complex issue, yes...there are those missionaries who come into an underdeveloped area, open a church and feed the poor, as long as they bring something to donate to the church, preachers who take the artwork and culture away from the people. There are others who also preach, but run large farms, teach modern agricultural practices, feed their converts, educate their converts, found makeshift machine shops to create a variety of prosthetic devices for people with various missing limbs or other deformities. I've seen both during my time in W. Africa, and C. and S. America as well, it seems that there are really only two types, the con men and the saints, the con men try to convince other that they are saints, the saints downplay their roles and play up the courage of the natives.
I like the part in bold. DeGuire, my old incarnation, sends thanks.
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