When looking across many countries, Oishi and Diener found that people in wealthier nations were more educated, had fewer children, and expressed more individualistic attitudes compared to those in poorer countries – all factors that were associated with higher life satisfaction but a significantly lower sense of meaning in life. The data suggest that religiosity may play an important role: Residents of wealthier nations, where religiosity is lower, reported less meaning in life and had higher suicide rates than poorer countries. According to the researchers, religion may provide meaning in life to the extent that it helps people to overcome personal difficulty and cope with the struggles of working to survive in poor economic conditions.Nothing new there. You can find the same correlations in written wisdom from 5000 years ago. These authors assume, in classic Commie-atheist style, that poverty is the basic problem. In their "minds" religion is a low-IQ pathological condition which mysteriously arises among low-IQ people who are stuck in low socioeconomic conditions. If only we could eliminate poverty, everyone would automatically abandon religion and take up our Dawkinsian-Darwinian worship of Gaia and worship of IQ. (Or more to the point, everyone would worship us.) It's not that simple. Undoubtedly religion is a comfort in difficult circumstances, but that doesn't mean poverty causes religion. More likely a life filled with meaning doesn't need to be filled with material stuff. When you have strong ties to family, community, productive work and morality, you don't need a new car and a new iPhone every six months. Western governments and businesses understand the causative mechanism perfectly. It's no coincidence that your TV carries Satanic "entertainment" designed to suck all meaning and structure and logic from your life. The "entertainment" alternates with ads instructing you to acquire iPhone and Pepsi and Cadillac to fill the void created by the "entertainment". It's all perfectly synchronized. Real meaning surgically ablated, prosthetic meaning installed. One-stop shopping for Satan.
Labels: Blinded by Stats
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.