[ExI] The sky is falling!

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Mar 28 02:21:18 UTC 2009

On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 9:17 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/3/28 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 1:31 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> If the amount of money spent on a belief is a measure of how seriously
>>> that belief should be taken, what do you make of religion?
>> ### Good question. Religion appears to fulfill some basic needs that
>> many people feel, and their generosity is an expression of that.
>> However, for the vast majority of religious people, it is a service
>> they buy, not an investment made to increase their future earnings.
>> Religion is in a similar infotainment category to romance novels, or
>> ESPN subscriptions, and comparing it to oil futures investment would a
>> be a category error.
> It's an investment in time and money which people hope will pay off in
> the afterlife. It is true that, as spike pointed out, for many church
> is a pleasant social experience, but I doubt that attendance would be
> as high if they really believed it was all a fantasy, like a romance
> novel.
### Of course most of them believe it's real but this is not the
exclusive or main reason why they attend and pay. AFAIK (I may be
wrong, since this is alien thought-space for me) they want a
"spiritual experience", in addition to the social context. Also, the
payoff is a matter of faith, as any real Christian would tell you, not
a reasoned expectation, and this differs greatly from buying oil
futures where expectations are based on previously gathered
empirically observable data in the form of money in your account and
in the accounts of other traders.


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