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  1. #61
    Wannabe genius Splittet's Avatar
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    Found a better study, ARIS 2008:

    Based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification in 2008, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unknowable or unsure), and another 12% are deistic (a higher power but no personal God).
    The survey below, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008, was a random digit-dialed telephone survey of 54,461 American residential households in the contiguous United States.
    "Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." - Wolfgang AmadÚ Mozart

  2. #62
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    The US isn't as religious as that poll makes it appear.
    It seems to me, as I've said to British friends before, that the U.S. is not as "literally religious" as it is "culturally religious." The predominant religions are woven into the social fabric, the "understood" knowledge of society, but most religious people in the U.S. are still not much concerned about the details. Maybe a kind of "open to interpretation," malleable religion.

  3. #63
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    It seems to me, as I've said to British friends before, that the U.S. is not as "literally religious" as it is "culturally religious." The predominant religions are woven into the social fabric, the "understood" knowledge of society, but most religious people in the U.S. are still not much concerned about the details. Maybe a kind of "open to interpretation," malleable religion.
    YES THAT. That's what I meant!

    Exactly that.

    Cimarron, once again you are much smarter than me.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  4. #64
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splittet View Post
    Found a better study, ARIS 2008:
    You're free to base your opinion on polls if that's what you want to do.
    "We grow up thinking that´╗┐ beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are´╗┐ easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of´╗┐ a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #65
    Wannabe genius Splittet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    You're free to base your opinion on polls if that's what you want to do.
    As if it's equally valid to base your "opinion" on personal observations as on research conducted through systematic methods...
    "Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." - Wolfgang AmadÚ Mozart

  6. #66
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splittet View Post
    As if it's equally valid to base your "opinion" on personal observations as on research conducted through systematic methods...
    Systematic =/= accurate.
    "We grow up thinking that´╗┐ beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are´╗┐ easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of´╗┐ a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #67
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    All representative democracies bear resemblance to an oligarchy, but the few rule for the many. They always stand accountable to the populace for their political actions.
    I'll take the bait: Why should the decision be taken by the populace, that has no idea what is actually written in the treaty? This is why we have representative democracy. A politician gets paid to read stuff like this and base his vote on the ideology that he is a representative of.
    The decision concerning the EU treaty is not as easily revoked at the next election cycle as other issues-its essentially a permanent decision binding future generations.

    As for the oligarchy example, European parties in general (due to a combination of Parliamentary institutions, multi-member districts, and the lack of a primary system) are far more oligarchic (most legislators are effectively unable to vote against the wishes of party bosses) and unnaccountable (to specific constituents) than is the case in the United States.

    As for the increased global power thing...what good is that, if one's power over their own lives is massively decreased by EU institutions?

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The decision concerning the EU treaty is not as easily revoked at the next election cycle as other issues-its essentially a permanent decision binding future generations.
    Member states are free to leave the EU if the future national political climates are too hot for it.

    As for the oligarchy example, European parties in general (due to a combination of Parliamentary institutions, multi-member districts, and the lack of a primary system) are far more oligarchic (most legislators are effectively unable to vote against the wishes of party bosses)
    Do you mean parties like European Democrats and Union for Europe? So the leader of each political group in the EU parliament has more power? How?

    and unnaccountable (to specific constituents) than is the case in the United States.
    That is true, but lack of interest of the populace for the European Parliament and European lawmaking is why that is so. If the EU Parliament was covered just half as extensively by the national presses as the national parliaments are, then it would give the populace a better overview of who does what, and their MEPs would have to watch their asses more and make sure that they vote according to the principles that they were voted into the European Parliament on.

    As for the increased global power thing...what good is that, if one's power over their own lives is massively decreased by EU institutions?
    A law needs to go through the European Parliament (members elected via direct democracy) or/and the Council of the European Union (n ministers each representing one of the n member states in a specific area of expertise such as agriculture - elected via representative democracy in their respective nations).
    The populace has plenty of power over their own lives - and a little less power over the lives of other Europeans. That is democracy, and the EU would not exist without it, because one of the "pillars" of the Union's existence is the fact that it unites the Member States and creates joint solutions for problems that can not be fixed by one nation alone; basically cross-border issues.



    The Lisbon Treaty would give more power to the people.
    • National parliaments will have greater
      powers to challenge any Commission proposal they consider goes against the
      principle of subsidiarity.

    • Co-decision will extend into new areas where before only the Council of the European Union was needed to vote on it.

  9. #69
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Member states are free to leave the EU if the future national political climates are too hot for it.



    Do you mean parties like European Democrats and Union for Europe? So the leader of each political group in the EU parliament has more power? How?



    That is true, but lack of interest of the populace for the European Parliament and European lawmaking is why that is so. If the EU Parliament was covered just half as extensively by the national presses as the national parliaments are, then it would give the populace a better overview of who does what, and their MEPs would have to watch their asses more and make sure that they vote according to the principles that they were voted into the European Parliament on.



    A law needs to go through the European Parliament (members elected via direct democracy) or/and the Council of the European Union (n ministers each representing one of the n member states in a specific area of expertise such as agriculture - elected via representative democracy in their respective nations).
    The populace has plenty of power over their own lives - and a little less power over the lives of other Europeans. That is democracy, and the EU would not exist without it, because one of the "pillars" of the Union's existence is the fact that it unites the Member States and creates joint solutions for problems that can not be fixed by one nation alone; basically cross-border issues.



    The Lisbon Treaty would give more power to the people.
    • National parliaments will have greater
      powers to challenge any Commission proposal they consider goes against the
      principle of subsidiarity.

    • Co-decision will extend into new areas where before only the Council of the European Union was needed to vote on it.
    1.) At very high costs, and in opposition to the majority of the powerful, established political parties (the disparity between support for the EU among the political class and among the populace is striking, and more than a little disturbing).

    2.) I mean like parties whose internal structures have adapted to external institutions so as to maximize their influence under exigent conditions; in short, internal party discipline (reinforced by a party hierarchy with effective means through which to punish dissenting party members) is quite strict within the vast majority of European political parties, leading to increased levels of oligarchy. I don't know to what extent this is duplicated at the EU level, probably not so much (yet), given the relative lack of power of the EU parliament (not to be confused with its judicial and regulatory institutions).

    3.) You missed my point; without a specific representative to hold accountable (as in a single-member district), the accountability of legislators to their supposed constituents is very low, while their accountability to party leadership is very high (many countries with single-member districts still exhibit strong party discipline, single-member districts are a necessary but not sufficient condition for maximizing accountability). Presidential systems lower the utility of party discipline, while primary systems allow constituents to hold representatives accountable without forcing them to vote for candidates they hate more than their previous representative. These separate institutions mesh in a way that the whole (in terms of accountability) is greater than the sum of its parts.

    4.) The subsidiary principle is worthless; it essentially transfers all of the headaches of governance to subordinate localities, while all decision-making authority is ultimately vested in the center-federalism it ain't. Consequentially, the average person's input and control over the institutions (or, and this is equally as important, the lack thereof) that impact their lives is lessened (especially since the most powerful institutions within the EU are those with the greatest "democratic deficit").

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    I am puzzled as to why some people rate their petty nationalistic feelings higher than a strong and completely united Europe. Could you explain why?

    Few people "get to me" more than the people who would love to destroy the European Union because they see it as a threat to their national identity or some bleeding heart liberal who thinks it's like another empire. I was pissed off for days when the Irish did not accept the Lisbon Treaty. A couple of organizations had decieved the Irish people into believing that the treaty would give the EU the power to harmonize corporate tax rates without Ireland having a say about it, and some other crazy stuff. A lot of the pole posters put up by these organizations were so ridiculous that I had not expected the Irish to fall for it, but I guess that's what you get with an incompetent government that does a shitty job at explaining something to its populace.
    What would a strong and completely united Europe do for me? Why would my nationalistic feelings be petty? Please explain.


    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Because ranking increased global political, economic... power and stability lower than something as "ungroundable" as culture isn't sensible. It is horribly destructive and slows down progress in many fields where co-operation for better and faster results is possible.



    Nationalism is an expression of national identity. National identity is based on history, culture and language.
    Yes, I agree. But if you lose all your culture and language to blend in where does your national identity go? In my opinion all this so called " increased global, political, economic power and stability" is in vain. It leads to another form of socialism. This big machinery has gotten itself moving, but nobody's driving it. The politicians don't really think about anything, but their own interest, totally ignoring what we need. My point is that this doesn't serve to anything.

    One a side note, have you ever tasted a real tomato? One that doesn't come from a glass house, or one that is not pumped with all sorts of substances abot which you are not informed? Or one that tastes like something?? One that is not supposedly called "organic" while it's sold at a triple price, but with zero taste?
    Have you ever tasted a real chicken, not one produced in a factory with thousands of additives in their food so that they can gain the same weight in half the time?
    I have, but now all these rules and regulations imposed by the EU are making sure I won't ever again.
    The same applies to our national tradition of slaying the pig for Christmas.

    Would you not get bored if you saw the same landscape everywhere? I myslef do not enjoy the perspective of being able to eat only supermarket food, that is not for my own benefit but for nobody's. Our corpses don't even rot and that's because the regulations don't allow anything to be natural.

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