suicide by death penalty

here’s a strange — and sad — set of homicide statistics from sweden (stockholm) in the early 1700s — from manuel eisner’s Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime [pdf – pg. 112]:

“There is one major exception to this pattern [of male preponderance in serious violent crime-h.chick]. In early eighteenth-century Stockholm, women not only accounted for more than 60 percent of property crime offenders but also 45 percent of murder and manslaughter offenders and 41 percent of assault offenders (Andersson 1995). These are probably the highest female participation rates in serious violent crime found anywhere in the world. Scholars examining this phenomenon emphasize a combination of factors including — besides demographic imbalance — a highly specific cultural configuration, which embraced some kind of otherworldly calculus. More particularly, for fear of eternal punishment in hell, suicidal women appear often to have chosen to kill somebody else, usually their offspring, and then suffer the death penalty imposed on them by the judiciary (Jansson 1998). Homicide would bring them to purgatory for a limited period of time, after which they would enter heaven for eternity, which was definitely to be preferred to consignment to eternal hell because of suicide.”

=/

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man created god in his own image…

“Was he happy? Cultural difference in conceptions of Jesus”

“In the present research, we examined (a) whether the conception of Jesus differs between Koreans and Americans, and (b) whether different conceptions of Jesus might account for national differences in self-reported personality and subjective well-being. In Study 1, using a free association task, we found that European Americans spontaneously associated Jesus with predominantly positive words such as ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing,’ but rarely associated Jesus with painful or sacrificial terms. In contrast, Koreans spontaneously associated Jesus with both positive (e.g., ‘love’) and painful and sacrificial words. In Study 2, we used personality and well-being scales to assess perceptions of Jesus, as well as participants’ perceptions of their own personalities and well-being. Consistent with Study 1, American participants rated Jesus to be more agreeable, conscientious, extraverted, open to experiences, and happier than Korean participants. As expected from the previous research, American participants also rated themselves to be more agreeable, conscientious, extraverted, open to experiences, happier, and more satisfied with their lives than did Koreans….

“Although we assumed in this study that conceptions of Jesus would affect one’s self-views, it is possible that self-views could color one’s image of Jesus. Indeed, when we examined the reverse direction of the mediation process, we found that national differences in conceptions of Jesus were predicted by national differences in self-reported personality and happiness. These findings show that the relationship between self-perception and the perception of Jesus is bidirectional. To some extent, people project their own personality and well-being onto the image of Jesus.

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family feud

update 05/31/12: if you’re looking for info on the hatfield and mccoy feud, see here. (^_^)
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sooooo … the whole sunnishi’a split just started as a family argument, huh?

lemme see if i got this straight:

muhammad, of the banu hashim branch of the quraysh tribe, dies.

his followers — a lot of them who are ALSO members of the quraysh tribe — disagree on who his successor should be.

on the one hand, muhammad’s closest family (wife and kids) and closest followers) want ali, muhammad’s paternal cousin AND son-in-law**, ANOTHER member of the banu hashim, to be the new leader of islam.

muhammad’s enemies, primarly the members of the umayyad family, aka the banu abd-shams, which is a DIFFERENT branch of the quraysh tribe, support abu bakr as the new leader of islam. abu bakr was muhammad’s father-in-law and a member of the banu taym branch of, again, the quaraysh tribe.

the umayyad branch of the family and their allies won, and they and all their fellows became sunnis. muhammad’s closest family and the banu hashim lost out, and they and all their fellows became shi’as.

so, we’ve got a minimum of three branches of ONE tribe (the quaraysh tribe) — the banu hashim on one side vs. the umayyad family and the banu taym — fighting over the succession.

afaics, then, the whole sunni-shi’a split started as one great arab hatfield-and-mccoy battle to secure supremacy over mecca and other territories as well as over any other clan-branches|clans|tribes that had happened to convert to islam at that time. no?

click for LARGER view:

[source]

“Me against my brother, me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother, and my cousin against the world.”

**notice the inbreeding.

previously: cousin marriage conundrum addendum

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religion vs. biology

dennis said the other day:

“The waning of religious and nationalistic beliefs means that biology plays a greater role…. Modern science has disillusioned us of our former beliefs, the only belief remaining being the will to power, which is itself a manifestation of nature, in which every living thing lives at the expense of other living things.”

eh. i gotta disagree. ’cause i think this is a false dichotomy: religion vs. biology.

what is religion (or religious beliefs and practices) except an expression of our biology? (our biologies, in fact — that’s partly why we’ve got different religions.) religion is a manifestation of nature. our nature.

religion is just culture — which is just a product of our biology, afaics.

yup. i’m a reductionist. but, hey — reductionism works.

previously: tribalism makes a comeback!

see also: Twins Study Finds Adult Religiosity Heritable from futurepundit.

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