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View Poll Results: Has the environmental movement become a religion?

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  • Yes

    13 37.14%
  • No

    16 45.71%
  • Other (explain)

    6 17.14%
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  1. #61
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    There have been several libertarians in my town that will regularly hand out pamphlets on street corners. That is comparable in zeal to any religion you might find. Also I've had a libertarian friend tell me that all public education should be abolished. That view seems like it takes the libertarian philosophy to an irrational extreme.

    Libertarians can be both zealous and irrational in their beliefs. However this is not abnormal for political movements at all. Religion by no means has a monopoly on zealous and irrational behavior.
    I won't derail this thread any further, but I don't find anything irrational about abolishing at least the Department of Education at the federal level. It's not as if there would be no private or charity-based schools. That is no way comparable to declaring that having a child is contributing to the ruination of the planet. Neither is handing out a pamphlet the same as haranguing a perfect stranger.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I think it is simply a political movement.
    So why can't you see the religious parallels? Political movements have martyrs, dogmas, outreach programs, moral claims about reality, heretics. Environmentalism also makes arduous sacrificial demands and apocalyptic predictions. That almost reaches cult status.
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  3. #63
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    So why can't you see the religious parallels?
    I do see the religious parallels. Religion and politics have a lot of common elements.
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  4. #64
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    I said yeah.

    It's a religion. They don't use the same words like 'worship' or 'pure' or 'infallible' but we have thesauruses for a reason.

    Actually come to think of it, I've seen and heard plenty of people say pure, and even more say mighty, or magnificent...

    If it's not worship, then it's a fetish.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    See, this is what really annoys me about this issue. You use phrases like 'quite a long time', which have no meaning. In science, when people use phrases like 'quite a long time', I'm thinking millions of years. But the half life of atmospheric carbon dioxide is less than 100 years. So I read your statement and the first thing that pops into my head is that you're being disingenuous.
    "The half life of carbon dioxide" in this case probably refers to a carbon dioxide molecule, not to the total amount of carbon dioxide (the total amount of gas doesn't decay to zero, and there are a number of ways it gets added and removed, so half life isn't that useful a measure of how quickly it changes.).

    By burning fossil fuels, which take carbon that was not interacting with the atmosphere burning it, people add to the total amount of carbon in other places on the planet. Life does remove some with photosynthesis, but that carbon dioxide gets cycled back into the air/oceans when that life gets eaten or dies and decays, so unless more life grows on the planet that stores the carbon, the amount of gas in the air goes up. Oceans, weathering, and some rock formation will absorb some gas that is released. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has gone up by about 20% over the past 50 years or so, though, so with the way people currently operate, it will keep going up. (At the moment I'm in too lazy a mood to estimate out how much people are producing vs. and how much of that actually stays in the atmosphere.) Ocean absorption may cause its own problems though.

    I'm not sure how long methane lasts, it's supposed to be "short", though, as methane+oxidizing gas would be considered quite unusual unless both were being produced.

    Perflurocarbons are supposed to last tens of thousands of years or so.

    "Long times" would mean longer than a few human lifetimes, though otherwise the time scales depend on the actual gas released. (There are also estimation errors/modeling uncertainties, etc., lack of information trickling down to particular people, so sometimes people's won't have information down to a particular specific level.)

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    So why can't you see the religious parallels? Political movements have martyrs, dogmas, outreach programs, moral claims about reality, heretics. Environmentalism also makes arduous sacrificial demands and apocalyptic predictions. That almost reaches cult status.
    The viewpoint here is that since we haven't had the poll, or talked much about how, say, the free market, conservatism, nationalism, etc. are turning into religions even with certain fringy groups that treat them in such a way, than there's no reason environmentalism has to be treated the same way.

  7. #67
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    I said "other". I wouldn't say a religion, but... like religions sometimes do, it gives people a way to be holier-than-thou and self-rightious. Extreme environmentalism makes people feel important, intelligent, useful, and better than other people who are not trying to save the world, just like some religions (i.e. everyone else is damned to hell but me, I know the word of God, ect).

    So... what I'm saying is that it is comparable to a religious cult but isn't really a religion because there is no worshipping going on. It's a good idea that gets wrecked when people's ego's control it and it becomes extreme and self serving.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    I said "other". I wouldn't say a religion, but... like religions sometimes do, it gives people a way to be holier-than-thou and self-rightious. Extreme environmentalism makes people feel important, intelligent, useful, and better than other people who are not trying to save the world, just like some religions (i.e. everyone else is damned to hell but me, I know the word of God, ect).

    So... what I'm saying is that it is comparable to a religious cult but isn't really a religion because there is no worshipping going on. It's a good idea that gets wrecked when people's ego's control it and it becomes extreme and self serving.
    Would this same reasoning ot other political movements? (Which oftentimes people associate with superiority in some way.)

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Would this same reasoning ot other political movements? (Which oftentimes people associate with superiority in some way.)
    Does this reasoning apply to other political movements? I think so, but I don't pay a whole lot of attention to politics (for that reason, actually, so there must be some).

    I think really any extreme political idea/movement on either side of the spectrum (liberal or democrat) fall into this. A good example (that is kind of related to the environmentalism stuff) is genetically engineered food. Some people who protest genetic engineering of food seem to be self serving and self rightious/self-superior, and thus decide it is "wrong" in absolute terms without realizing how many lives it can save (and has saved).

    Same deal with republican politics and their ideas on gay marriage... but that, and pretty much every other extreme idea on the right wing of politics is rooted in religion, so it maybe isn't quite the same.

    But either way, the whole idea of saving the world and doing something great and going to a protest is very appealing to some people I think, so it reaches a level of hysteria that can go against what really needs to be done to best handle the issue.

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