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← For Good Self-Control, Try Getting Religious About It

For Good Self-Control, Try Getting Religious About It - Comments

bungoton's Avatar Comment 1 by bungoton

This article explains the real purpose of religion - power and control.
All the supernatural explanations and rituals are just window dressing.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 10:24:00 UTC | #294798

debaser71's Avatar Comment 2 by debaser71

I think the same sort of people who PROFESS belief are teh same sort of people who profess what to say on these surveys. For me, anything that relies on people to fill out surveys are already tainted beyond being considered science. So what people say! People don't know what the heck they are talking about! People lie! People profess things they really don't believe! etc etc

So what that people who say they are religious also say that they are happy and fulfilled. If they are already self deluding themselves then they are likely to be self deluding as to the claimed positive effects too.

The article was ok though...if only for the decent ending.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 10:51:00 UTC | #294814

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 3 by TIKI AL

Shorter version: Sheep possess the characteristics of sheep.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 11:13:00 UTC | #294839

dloubet's Avatar Comment 4 by dloubet

Internal Strength, eh? I guess if you never question, you never hesitate.

This all sounds like the benefits of self-inflicted obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 11:51:00 UTC | #294879

wwf's Avatar Comment 5 by wwf

debaser, your comment that survey data are "already tainted beyond being considered science" is unsubstantiated. It also implies that any type of opinion is useless ("People don't know what the heck they are talking about!"); does this apply to your own comment? A great deal can be learned from survey data when appropriately analyzed.

Many scholars devote their careers to developing surveys instruments that actually measure what they are intended to measure by using a variety of statistical tools and numerous trials. This is not to say that we shouldn't question the results of survey analyses since many surveys are not conducted with great care.

In the context of this particular study, the focus appears to be on the concept of "self-control." What does this even mean? The article doesn't give a good explanation of how self-control is measured. The only indication is in the following sentence: "Devout people were found to be more likely than others to wear seat belts, go to the dentist and take vitamins." This is self-control? I'm not sure how taking vitamins and going to the dentist are related to the notion of self-control.

Regardless, you shouldn't be so quick to simply dismiss survey data, but you should rather try to better understand the methods behind surveys and what the results are really telling us.

* I apologize for the repetitiveness. I must have been writing when michanikos posted his/her comment.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 12:20:00 UTC | #294904

amuck's Avatar Comment 6 by amuck

So was the problem with all those child raping catholic priests just too much self control ?

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 12:41:00 UTC | #294908

root2squared's Avatar Comment 7 by root2squared

No! The self control works only because religiobots think they are being monitored by god through his webcam in the sky.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 12:46:00 UTC | #294911

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 8 by NewEnglandBob

The self-deluded can be controlled - how profound.

The children: Abusive threats of damnation for eternity makes them behave - is this a surprise?

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 12:51:00 UTC | #294913

mikecbraun's Avatar Comment 9 by mikecbraun

This reeks of bullshit to me. Are these the same masters of self-control who molest altar boys? I thought evangelicals had the highest divorce rates and teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. That does not sound like good self-control to me. How about all of the converts on death row? I wonder if they were factored in as religious and counted in this study.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:09:00 UTC | #294924

Caudimordax's Avatar Comment 10 by Caudimordax

“The rituals that religions have been encouraging for thousands of years seem to be a kind of anaerobic workout for self-control.”

Right. Brain deprived of oxygen. Brain dies. Brain dead behavior commences.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:21:00 UTC | #294928

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 11 by Diacanu

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:32:00 UTC | #294932

root2squared's Avatar Comment 12 by root2squared

11. Comment #309719 by Caudimordax

Hehe...good one! Also, a happy new year in advance

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:35:00 UTC | #294933

exorcist's Avatar Comment 13 by exorcist

Hmmm. The article seems to fail to mention how going to church correlates with your IQ...

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:42:00 UTC | #294937

Rational_G's Avatar Comment 14 by Rational_G

Boring drivel......

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:46:00 UTC | #294943

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 15 by chewedbarber

Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier.


What a fucking extraordinary claim!

I'm going to go get drunk now.

Happy New Year!

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:56:00 UTC | #294947

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 16 by mordacious1

I only scanned this article, so my comments might sound inane, but...

I wear my seat belt because it is the rational thing to do. If I went to church I might feel that dog is my co-pilot and I won't need a seatbelt.

The most popular New Year's resolution is to lose weight. Ever enter a church on Sunday? They don't make those pews out of sturdy wood for looks.

I don't know if they've done a study on divorce rates among religious people, but in my experience they tend to commit adultery and other misbehaviors at as least the same rate as us heathens.

I think I'll leave my self-control to rational thinking...it's gotten me this far okay.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 14:41:00 UTC | #294966

Pattern Seeker's Avatar Comment 17 by Pattern Seeker

About this "self-control" they mention...

Definition-the ability to control oneself, in particular one's emotions and desires or the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations.

If you ask me, that sounds like the opposite of the typical religious observer. Go figure.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 15:30:00 UTC | #294992

Marku's Avatar Comment 18 by Marku

My father is a bible literalist and chronic church goer, and it took him until the age of 45 to go to university. Which meant he drove a taxicab to hide his income to avoid taxes which in turn got him out of paying child support until his children were adults. But hey, I'm sure if you were to ask him today about self-control, he would sound all positive in his accomplishments, and give Jesus credit.

I don't think a questionnaire could be all encompassing enough to really prove anything about one side of this coin. This article is all about pandering and nothing else.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 16:17:00 UTC | #295014

Pete H's Avatar Comment 19 by Pete H

Some aspects of selfs are less controllable than others.

I read an article a couple of days ago reporting on the currently fashionable vows of chastity taken by church-going teenagers. Cultivating irrational expectations of self control implies no need for condoms. So these religiously disciplined teenagers tend to experience very much higher rates of teen pregnancy and STDs than teenagers who rationally expect little self-control, instead relying on keeping condoms handy.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 16:22:00 UTC | #295017

mblarson323's Avatar Comment 20 by mblarson323

I think many are missing a different perspective on this report. I think we can all agree that, in many high-stress situations, self-control is a valuable asset. This study simply implies that certain external "messages" can have a positive influence on the expression of self control. It is entirely beside the fact that religious institutions have stumbled blindly into this discovery and now use it to their own nefarious purposes. It's a discovery that, employed in a humane manner and for ethical purposes, might be useful to a lot of people.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 16:26:00 UTC | #295019

Ed-words's Avatar Comment 21 by Ed-words

So he seems to say that premarital sex shows a lack of self-control.
Why not, also, going to movies and eating dessert?

It's all about the dogma!

(For religiholics, it would take more self-control NOT to go to church.)

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 17:34:00 UTC | #295078

theonlybap's Avatar Comment 22 by theonlybap

Putting the questionable aspects of these studies aside, I wonder how the religious score on self-perceived self-control. They may exhibit self-control (if taking vitamins is an indicator of that), but do they have a sense of being in control of themselves?

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 23:02:00 UTC | #295244

beebhack's Avatar Comment 23 by beebhack

"Devout people were found to be more likely than others to wear seat belts, go to the dentist and take vitamins. "

Makes the Crusades seem worthwhile.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 23:42:00 UTC | #295251

mithraman's Avatar Comment 24 by mithraman

Really? Self control? Well, OK, but since I don't believe in any gods or other such superstitious nonsense, who is supposed to be in control of my "self"? Looks pretty much like it has to be be me, therefore - self control. To the max, in fact. So Atheists are self controlled by definition. I'd tell you some more about this atheist/self control theory of mine, but instead I think I'm going to get myself another beer and a piece of pie.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 23:52:00 UTC | #295253

Eshto's Avatar Comment 25 by Eshto

Um... what behavior are we saying the religious are self-controlling, anyway?

Are the sheep keeping their racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-intellectualism under control? Clearly not.

Are they stifling their sex drives and creative passions in order to conform? You betcha. But I don't call that "self control". I call that repression and denial.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 00:27:00 UTC | #295256

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 26 by Bonzai

So it is established,--though hardly new,-- religious people are more likely to be boring conformists who readily submit to authority and follow rules. Why is this a good thing though?

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 00:31:00 UTC | #295258

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 27 by justinesaracen

Pseudo-science at its most useless. Unspecific qualifications for the study group, no control group to test for parallel results, vague definitions of what is being tested for, meaningless conclusions. In short, crap -- the sort of crap you find in super-market tabloids.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 00:51:00 UTC | #295262

AForce1's Avatar Comment 28 by AForce1

Did Bistol Palin defy her Mom or had she tripped out on future Mom-in-law's tablets? Or did she think WTF I want to f... ?
I bet she promised her Mom she would never do such a thing.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 00:54:00 UTC | #295263

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 29 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Reading this and looking around my own flat/apartment on New Year's morning, I'm reminded of Stuart Alan Jones, anti-hero of Queer as Folk, who on awaking yet again to the debris of the night before uttered the immortal words "why doesn't someone stop me?".

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 03:15:00 UTC | #295279

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 30 by DamnDirtyApe

I always wear a seatbelt. Their entire argument = fail.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 03:41:00 UTC | #295305