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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gods and goddesses and deities, oh my!

from ricky gervais’ brilliant “why i am an atheist” (note: hbd chick is not):

“But what are atheists really being accused of?

“The dictionary definition of God is ‘a supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.’ Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

“So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say ‘Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…’ If they say ‘Just God. I only believe in the one God,’ I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869….”

heh! (~_^)

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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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