Monday Miscellany 3/27/23

Monday Miscellany 3/27/23 March 27, 2023

Jews have the best reputation and Evangelical Christians have the worst.  People are falling in love with their Chatbot virtual companions.  Scientists have generated mice without mothers. And government expands with a crisis but never contracts once the crisis is over.

Which Religions Have the Best Reputation.  Best liked:  Jews.  Most disliked:  Evangelical Christians.

So says a study from Pew Research.  Ranking the religions by the percentage of Americans who said they have a “Very/somewhat unfavorable” impression of them, Jews came out best at only 6% disliking them; followed by Mainline Protestants at only 10%; followed by Catholics at 18%; Muslims at 22%; atheists at 24%; Mormons at 25%; and, as those with the most reviled religion, Evangelical Christians at 27%.

Looked at another way, evangelicals come out somewhat better.  The percentage of Americans with a “very/somewhat favorable” impression of the religions breaks down this way:  Jews, 35%; Mainline Protestants, 30%; Catholics, 34%; Evangelical Christians, 28%; atheists, 20%; Muslims, 17%; Mormons, 15%.

The largest bloc of respondents in  each category said “Neither/Don’t enough to say” (Jews, 58%; Mainline Protestants 59%; Catholics 47%; Evangelical Christians, 44%; atheists, 55%; Muslims, 59%; Mormons, 59%).

The “balance of opinion” (subtracting the unfavorable scores from the favorable)” ranking gives us this:  Jews, +28; Mainline Protestants, +20; Catholics, +16; Evangelical Christians, +2; atheists, -4; Muslims, -5; Mormons, -10.


Falling in Love with Your Chatbot.  Chat programs ramped up with Artificial Intelligence can mimic human interaction.  This has some observers hailing the development as helping lonely people meet their relationship needs.  Some users are already taking this to extremes.  Andrew Chow reports that “Message boards on Reddit and Discord have become flooded with stories of users who have found themselves deeply emotionally dependent on digital lovers.”

Reproduction without Mothers.  We have been told that fathers are no longer biologically necessary.  Reproductive engineering can fertilize an egg without their help.  Well, now mothers are no longer biologically necessary either.  Scientists have generated eggs from male cells, leading to the birth of mice with two fathers.  This technology is being hailed as possibly a first step to enabling same-sex couples to have biological children together.

Two Maxims about Government.  From Veronique de Rugy:

Economist Robert Higgs is well known for his work on the “ratchet effect.” As he explained in Crisis and Leviathan, governments expand during crises. But, when a crisis ends, the size and scope of government doesn’t revert to where it was prior to it.

I’ll add to this analysis the snowball effect. I think people can guess what it means. “Bad policy begets worse policy.” Put the two effects together and you can see how we ended up in the mess we are in today.

She goes on to illustrate these maxims from recent events.  During the COVID crisis, the government spent vast amounts of money, but the level of spending has not gone down–nor have there been any efforts to pay off what was spent–now that the crisis has passed.  The Federal Reserve created new tools designed for the Great Recession and kept using them even though that recession passed away, keeping interest rates artificially low.  When the COVID policies created massive inflation, they increased interest rates.  “This shocked many financial institutions with business models predicated on the assumption that the historically low interest rates would never go up. They did — not even that much by historical standards — and these rate increases were enough to cause a few banks to fail and for chaos to reign in the banking system.”




"Precisely. Thanks."

Monday Miscellany, 6/5/23
"I was thinking they're afraid people will find out their science isn't science."

Monday Miscellany, 6/5/23
"In that case he does not understand how third party subpoenas work. Third parties can ..."

Monday Miscellany, 6/5/23
"I'll speak up for rural schools, where all my children attended (graduating classes on the ..."

Monday Miscellany, 6/5/23

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad