"Religion is exactly the same kind of thing as astrology": A. C. Grayling
"Only 7 percent of the country’s top scientists (defined for this poll as the members of the National Academy of Sciences) professed a belief in God, while almost no Nobel laureates are religious. A mere 3 percent of the eminent scientists who are members of Britain’s Royal Society are religious. Moreover, meta-analysis has shown a correlation among atheism, education, and IQ. So there are striking differences within populations, and it’s clear that degree of atheism is linked to intelligence, education, academic achievement, and a positive interest in natural science. Scientists also differ per discipline: Biologists are less prone to believe in God and the hereafter than physicists. So it isn’t surprising that the vast majority (78 percent) of eminent evolutionary biologists polled called themselves materialists (meaning that they believe physical matter to be the only reality). Almost three quarters (72 percent) of them regarded religion as a social phenomenon that had evolved along with Homo sapiens. They saw it as part of evolution, rather than conflicting with it." D. F. Swaab: We Are Our Brains
To be clear, here are my definitions:
These are not the only basis for beliefs though:
Reality will win. Science is our best view of reality and is usually our best predictor. The climate doesn't care what we think. Because we have burned too much fossil fuel, Earth will warm, the glaciers will melt, the arctic ocean will be ice free, there will no longer be fresh drinking water from the melt, the land will dry, fires will rage, forests will disappear, the waters will become acid, many species will go extinct, food will get too expensive for most. Population will have to shrink to a level the earth can support. This will be accompanied by mass migrations, social unrest, and most likely wars. As a result, the economy will be destroyed.
definitions: Economics is a religion
when there is no attempt to base it on
facts. If, however, there are people who carefully study the
evidence, and propose policy solutions based on the best available
knowledge, I would argue that they aspire to be scientists and
should be respected as such. Economics
has both kinds of people. Voodoo or supply-side economics has long
been discredited, but carries on as religion. Nobel prize winning
economists, like Joe Stiglitz or Paul Krugman, deserve respect as
scholars and scientists. To say this is also to take sides in the
politics. It is usually best to side with people with deep
knowledge of their subject, not the ones who refuse to accept science.
That said, I also think that views on the economy need to be reframed.
The economy is a human-designed artifact that should serve the
people. It doesn't now. It serves the wealthy,
it is extremely unfair, it undermines democracy, it causes immense
suffering, It needs reform.
Our economic measures should reflect the well-being of the
We should deal with some of the obvious problems: the casino
speculation, the boom and bust cycles, the too-big-to-fail corporations, the lack of democracy in the work place, the corporate
welfare bought and paid for in our coin-operated Congress,
the obscene CEO compensation, the corporate governance, the
shredded social safety net, the
offshore tax havens, the deregulated
(pollution), the prison-industrial
complex, the military-industrial
complex, the insane weapons expense, the drive for world-dominating empire, and so
In our system, paid work is mostly required for life support.
But we have massive unemployment because the 'free' market
does not need a large fraction of the
workforce. High unemployment translattes to productivity lost forever.
As accelerating advances in technology replaces people in jobs, people
should have more freedom, shorter work weeks, and a
social safety net that guarantees life support. Health care should be a right, not a
for-profit commodity. If the private
sector is incapable of providing jobs, then the government should
be the employer of last resort. FDR created the WPA for this and we
still have many assets to show for it. Since there is always plenty of
work to do,
we should guarantee a job to anyone who wants one. Our infrastructure
massive repair, interest rates are low, and it would be a good
investment to fix it.