The Religion and Authoritarianism Project

 
NoAnswersInGenesis
 
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NoAnswersInGenesis
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24 May 2009 20:26
 

How about a program (film, symposium or a web project like the “Scripture Project” or the “Biology of Belief”) that would address the current and emerging research on the strong connection between religious fundamentalism and right-wing Authoritarianism?

Bob Altemeyer, Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba and the author of the book The Authoritarians, details 30 years of research on the personality traits and thinking abilities of the kind of people who make up the bulk of the religious right.

Altemeyer’s research specifically documents the presence and nature of precisely the “dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry” that The Reason Project seeks to address.

Altemeyer’s book is available for free on line at the University of Manitoba website:
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

I don’t think anyone could read that book and not want to interview him, have him write something or just try to put his work together with other relevant research and into some kind of program for The Reason Project highlighting the following findings:

Over 90% of religious fundamentalists are Right-wing Authoritarians.

Psychologically, authoritarian followers have personalities featuring:
1) a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate authorities in
their society;
2) high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities; and
3) a high level of conventionalism.

Right wing authoritarians suffer greatly from the following things in comparison to the rest of the population.

1.  Illogical thinking
2.  Compartmentalized minds
3.  Double standards
4.  Hypocrisy
5.  Blindness of themselves
6.  Profound ethnocentrism
7.  Dogmatism

Altemeyer demonstrates clearly that the religious fundamentalists so pervasive in the Republican base, are much closer in temperament to the masses in Nuremberg than we might realize:that, in fact, they are capable of exactly the same thing.

To illustrate this, Altemeyer ran scenarios where groups of high and low Authoritarian college students “run the world” for three hours to see what would happen:  the low authoritarians (like most atheists) did pretty well at using diplomacy to deal with hunger, disease and global warming:the high authoritarians (over 90% of fundamentalists) nuked the planet.

Urgently interesting stuff.  I would like to help work on this project.

 
 
Rob P
 
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Rob P
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25 May 2009 00:33
 

Hmm. I could probably do some video work for it (either shooting, graphics or editing) if I can fit it into my schedule. It just depends on what specifically needs to be done and when.

 
 
rab
 
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rab
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25 May 2009 00:55
 

Further reading on the subject includes Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean (which I’ve read) and The Family by Jeff Sharlet. I haven’t read that one but I’ve read articles on it, listened to interviews by the author and have seen videos on the subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVrQkunIZXo

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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25 May 2009 02:41
 

OK, I have to ask, why the screen name AnswersInGenesis, to mock them by posting reasonable things in their name, more google hits…....?

 
 
NoAnswersInGenesis
 
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NoAnswersInGenesis
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25 May 2009 15:06
 
GAD - 25 May 2009 12:41 AM

OK, I have to ask, why the screen name AnswersInGenesis, to mock them by posting reasonable things in their name, more google hits…....?

Bad judgment strikes again:  I have never posted in forums before, but I’m so excited about this site, I signed up.  Trying to be funny, I chose “answers in genesis” as my name and found a little picture of Santa Cause with his middle finger prominently displayed for the avatar.  After deciding that “flip-off Santa” might be too agro, I changed the avatar…naively…to the monkey.

I was wondering why some people were dismissing my posts without reading them.

Guess I need to change my name.  Thanks for the constructive input.

 
 
NoAnswersInGenesis
 
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NoAnswersInGenesis
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25 May 2009 15:33
 
Rob P - 24 May 2009 10:33 PM

Hmm. I could probably do some video work for it (either shooting, graphics or editing) if I can fit it into my schedule. It just depends on what specifically needs to be done and when.


I’m glad you like the idea.  I’m writing Altemeyer today to try and set up a meeting with him.

 
 
NoAnswersInGenesis
 
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NoAnswersInGenesis
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25 May 2009 16:20
 
rab - 24 May 2009 10:55 PM

Further reading on the subject includes Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean (which I’ve read) and The Family by Jeff Sharlet. I haven’t read that one but I’ve read articles on it, listened to interviews by the author and have seen videos on the subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVrQkunIZXo

Thanks for the suggestions.  It will be fun to see if this generates some interest.

 
 
rab
 
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rab
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26 May 2009 22:49
GAD
 
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GAD
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26 May 2009 22:55
 

LOL! That’s funny, especially with the dino avatar!

 
 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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27 May 2009 11:10
 
NoAnswersInGenesis - 25 May 2009 01:33 PM

I’m glad you like the idea.  I’m writing Altemeyer today to try and set up a meeting with him.


Cool!

I’ve emailed him back and forth a few times, but being close enough to meet with him would be far more enlightening I think. I’d like to discuss “Atheists” and “The Authoritarian Specter” with him, probably at some length.

Byron